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Language, Regional Political Parties, and Regional Political Distinctiveness in Western Europe

Dan Miodownik, Britt Cartrite

This study deploys a dataset of 161 regions in eleven European countries to evaluate the impact of various political, cultural, economic, demographic, and geographic factors in generating the relative distinctiveness of voting behavior of each region when compared to other regions in the country, both across cases and over time. This study explores the relative impact of ethnic distinctiveness alongside other factors (such as economic peripherality) to generate a more comprehensive comparative analysis of such clusters of factors typically found in the literature. Specifically, we extend the prior work of Hearl, Budge, and Pearson (1996) in order to assess the impact of twenty years of additional elections, as well as improvements on their measures and the inclusion of new kinds of data, on models of regional political distinctiveness. The comprehensiveness of the dataset presented here allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced analysis than that provided by other datasets in this field.

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