Article (Scientific journals)
Who does not participate in elections in Europe and why is this? A multilevel analysis of social mechanisms behind non-voting
Hadjar, Andreas; Beck, Michael
2010In European Societies, 12 (4), p. 521-542
Peer reviewed


Full Text
hadjar_beck_2010_who does not participate in elections_european societies.pdf
Author postprint (166.54 kB)
Request a copy

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.

Send to


Keywords :
non-voting; education; cohort; multilevel analysis
Abstract :
[en] This paper focuses on the research question ‘Who does not vote and why?’ regarding national elections in 24 European countries. We analyse determinants of non-voting both on the individual and the societal level employing a multilevel design. On the micro level, the sociological determinants under consideration are education, cohort and gender. Regarding psychological or motivational factors, we include in the analyses political efficacy, political interest, political trust and satisfaction with politics. On the macro level, we analyse characteristics of the electoral system, including opportunities for ‘direct democracy’, maturity of democracy, disproportionality factor, and if the participation in elections is compulsory. The data source of the analyses is the European Social Survey 2006. A first main finding is the fact that the probability of non-voting is higher among people with a low level of education and among younger cohorts. The motivational factors have similar impacts on non-voting across all analysed societies. Lack of political efficacy, lack of political interest, lack of political trust and dissatisfaction with politicians and the political system increase the probability of non-voting. Regarding macro influences, countries with compulsory voting and ‘old democracies’ turn out to have a lower rate of non-voting, although these effects vanish when simultaneously modelled with the social psychological micro level indicators.
Disciplines :
Education & instruction
Sociology & social sciences
Identifiers :
Author, co-author :
Hadjar, Andreas ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Languages, Culture, Media and Identities (LCMI)
Beck, Michael;  University of Berne, Switzerland
Language :
Title :
Who does not participate in elections in Europe and why is this? A multilevel analysis of social mechanisms behind non-voting
Publication date :
Journal title :
European Societies
Publisher :
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Available on ORBilu :
since 22 May 2013


Number of views
225 (3 by Unilu)
Number of downloads
4 (0 by Unilu)

Scopus citations®
Scopus citations®
without self-citations
WoS citations


Similar publications

Contact ORBilu