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date: 21 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Do social networks influence vote choice? This chapter reviews if and how social interactions shape individual voting choices. While the literature on social networks and the decision to turn out to vote is extensive, less scholarly attention has been devoted to understanding the link between social networks and vote choice. This work is dominated by studies of voting behavior in American and European elections, in which special features of the elections themselves must be considered when drawing conclusions about the role of social networks. The connection of social networks to voting choices provides an area of opportunity for scholars who seek to understand both networks and voting behavior, but it also poses substantial challenges, especially in differentiating selection from influence and moving beyond face-to-face discussion to electronic interactions, which future work needs to address.

Keywords: vote choice, social networks, interpersonal discussion, homogeneous social network, heterogeneous network, strategic/sincere voting

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