The institutional context of electoral participation

From January 2009 to December 2011
Funding Institution: Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS)
Grant Number: CSO2008-03332-E

Research questions

How do systemic characteristics interact with individual political attitudes? Are political contexts more or less relevant depending on the level of individual motivations? Have these systemic features become more important over time? Has the decline in attitudes that traditionally had a strong influence on turnout (like party identification or the sense of civic duty) produced a larger potential effect of contextual features?


We have created two large datasets with individual and contextual variables related to electoral participation (under embargo):

  • Collated database containing information from over 100.000 individuals collected in 34 countries from 130 surveys (European Social Survey and Comparative Study of Electoral Systems), along with contextual data on a wide array of institutional, political, and social variables.
  • Collated database with individual level data from the postelectoral surveys carried out after the Spanish general elections celebrated from 1986 to 2008. A second database contains information at the level of the Comunidad Autónoma for all regional, general, and European elections celebrated from 1977 to 2009 with more than 30 institutional, political, and social variables.


Disproportionality and Voter Turnout in New and Old Democracies
Gallego  A, Rico G and Anduiza E (2012), Electoral Studies 31(1): 159-169.

Decentralization and Voter Turnout
Blais A, Anduiza E and Gallego A (2011), Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 29(2):244-263.

Understanding Unequal Turnout: Education and Voting in Comparative Perspective
Gallego A (2010), Electoral Studies 29(2): 239-247.

Where Else Does Turnout Decline Come From? Education, Age, Generation and Period Effects in Three European Countries
Gallego A (2009), Scandinavian Political Studies 32(1): 32-44.

La participación electoral en las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009
Gallego A, Anduiza E and Rico G (2012). In: Torcal M and Font J (eds.) Elecciones europeas 2009. Madrid: CIS, pp.175-196.