This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Low Voter Turnout A Malconstructed National Misconception Or Rational Citizens?

2383 words - 10 pages

1.1 What is Constructivism?
1. Constructivism
Kratochwil (2008; 86) identifies two basic commitments that form the core of Constructivism. The first one is the acknowledgement that agency matters in social life, meaning that what we do matters. People, through their actions, are capable of structuring and restructuring the social environment around them.
The second commitment of Constructivism says that if we accept that the world is constructed, then the ideas and notions that we have about their actions also matter. Constructivists see the world, and reality in itself, as constructed by human beings, their conceptions of reality and their agreed upon definitions of it.
When it comes ...view middle of the document...

I think that questioning the ideas that we have and take for granted is a good way to start of any academic project, as it can help to gain further understanding of the phenomenon at hand. Also, when it comes to the specific question of the EP elections.
! !
2. Rational Choice Theory
2.1 What is Rational Choice Theory?
Rational Choice Theory (RCT) bases itself on the notion of rationality. As Chwaszcza (2008: 142) describes it;

Another basic assumption made by RCT theorists is the individual as the central actor. Even though there are some exceptions in the broad scope of RCT branches, most versions start from the individual and attempt to explain broader processes through aggregating the individuals actions (della Porta & Keating 2008; 1).
According to RCT, the individual will act motivated by self-interest and strive to maximize their personal benefits (ibid; 3). As both Steinmo (2008; 126) and della Porta & Keating (2008; 3) point out, rational choice puts focus on institutions as setting the incentives for rational choice. As della Porta & Keating (ibid; 9-10) put it: ”For rational choice institutionalists, institutions shape the patterns of incentives and sanctions available to individuals making decisions.”
! !
”... the model of reasoning in RCT must be characterized as a logical model of reasoning. It is definitely not a psychological account, but a formal account that specifies the ideal conditions under which a specific account of reasoning, maximization of expected utility, yields well-defined solutions.”
733A48: Research Design and Methods Caroline Bruzelli 890503-0469 2.2. Why Rational Choice Theory?
I think it is time that I explain myself on why I have chosen RCT as one of my approaches. I am aware that the description to the assignment stated to choose two chapters from della Porta & Keating and analyze from these perspectives. Rational Choice does not have a chapter of its own, but it is discussed throughout many of the other chapters.
There are basically two reasons for choosing RCT. The first is that it contrasts interestingly to Constructivism. Kratochwil (ibid; 87) shows how Constructivism and RCT give two very differing narratives about the nature of social reality. RCT theorists will agree with the Constructivist assumption that agency matters in social life. However, they tend to have world-view that further emphasizes scientific realism than social construction. Thus, the distinction between these two approaches seems conducive for my analysis.
The second reason for choosing RCT is rather stubborn, and possibly naive. The reason for not including it in the book was according to della Porta and Keating that the debate concerning it has been exhausted with time, and that they would come no further discussing it (ibid; 10). Throughout the book, there are several instances when the different authors criticize core assumptions of RCT (cf. Keating 2008; 104; cf Pizzorno 2008; p. 172).
Thus, I found it attractive to...

Find Another Essay On Low Voter Turnout - A Malconstructed National Misconception or Rational Citizens?

A National Curriculum: To Be Uniform or Not?

972 words - 4 pages national curriculum. Providing national curriculum would stabilize learning for students and make it easier for them to adapt to changing schools if needed. There are thousands of students every year who move and change schools because their parents change jobs or they have parents in the military. A uniform national curriculum would greatly benefit these students because once they are enrolled in a new school; they would not be introduced to a new

The Kenesary Kasymov Rebellion (1837-1847): A National-Liberation Movement or “a Protest of Restoration?”

1360 words - 6 pages that the aims of the rebellion was national-liberation movement that Kenesary wanted to embody symbolizing whole nations’ wish. Another interpretation of revolt was “a protest of restoration” – Kenesary’s effort to retrieve Kazakhs’ traditions and past sociopolitical position. In Yuriy Malikov’s words, the primary aim of Kenesary’s uprisings was neither national-liberation movement nor “a protest of restoration.” In his view, fundamentals of the

The role of religion as a positive or negative or neutral or irrelevant force, in efforts to further national political objectives where human dignity, equality, justice and peace prevail

1923 words - 8 pages The role of the religion as a positive or negative or neutral or irrelevant force, in efforts to further national political objectives or to develop a world community where human dignity, equality, justice and peace prevail.The twentieth century that just gave way to a new millennium was the one of many great events. There were discoveries that defied ideas that were thought to be axioms and there were amazing inventions that radically changed

Should the new America have a strong national government with a centralized authority and commercial economy, or a modest centralized government that should remain on the side of the minority?

521 words - 2 pages Should the new America have a strong national government with a centralized authority and commercial economy, or a modest centralized government that should remain on the side of the minority? The minority was rural and agrarian. An issue such as this led Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to the forefront of the Republican Party whole Alexander Hamilton lead the opposing party. The rise of political parties began.Hamilton, despite his own

Mimes of America

867 words - 4 pages the culture of low voter turnout stemmed from historical events. To better the state and national levels of voter turnout, a stop to the spread of low voter turnout culture is necessary. Updating or improving different aspects of voting would be an excellent step in reaching a higher turnout. For example, the country we live in today continues to grow technologically savvy each year. Providing an online voting system, similar to India, could

Voter Turnout?

2030 words - 8 pages . This downward trend of voter turnout can be traced to the reforms of the Progressive era. Turnout in post-Progressive era America remained low, never reaching the levels attained before the Progressive era reforms. This would be expected, since there is little in the political history of these years that would indicate a return to a collectively oriented system of voter participation. Since 1912, only about 50 to 65 percent of Americans have

Voter Turnout

1603 words - 6 pages .); and rational (e.g., citizens perceive the costs of voting outweigh the benefits, citizen's perceive little difference in candidates and thus no point in voting, etc.) (Ragsdale & Rusk, 1993; Niemi & Wiesberg, 1993; Rosenstone, 1993). Although low voter turnout is considered by many to be an example of what is wrong with the political process or an indication of disinterest in voting, it doesn't always have to be a sign of foreboding

California: The Dividing Issue Of Illegal Immigration

1995 words - 8 pages campaign spending, candidate campaign appearances, and more competitive campaigns stimulate voter turnout while negative campaign advertisements depress voter turnout. These studies show that by making information more interesting, campaigns are capable of affecting the voter turnout."Nonvoters are increasingly low-income, young and less educated" (Guinier). The largest determinant in whether or not a person votes is their level of education. The

Voter Participation in the United States

728 words - 3 pages political institutions to mobilize people, weak political parties, the socioeconomic status of citizens, and the electoral system. One explanation for low levels of voter participation is due to the registration, procedures, and obstacles citizens must persevere through to vote in a national election. In other nations, citizens aren’t obligated to register in order to vote. They are automatically registered due to their citizenship. While the United

The Decrease in Voter Turnout

1441 words - 6 pages to make it convenient for people that traveled by horse and wagons when the law was set back in 1845. But time changed its 2013 now. We don’t have horses or wagons anymore. The government needs to reconsider Tuesday as the national Election Day. Voter Turnout is a crucial quality of fair elections and is usually considered to be a necessary issue for a healthy democracy. Low turnout is typically because of disengagement from the government

Should The Voter Identification Law be in Place?

961 words - 4 pages The “Election and voting: Voter Identification” is a debate between three sides with different opinions about the voter identification law. Each side is represented by Chandler Davidson, Hans von Spakovsky, and Edward Foley. This debate is about whether the voter identification laws should be in place or not. Davidson is against the voting id laws stating its historical context and how it will affect the minorities, older and student during the

Similar Essays

Examining Low Young Voter Turnout Essay

1408 words - 6 pages One of our most, and many would argue, the most valuable rights as citizens of a democracy is our right to vote. It gives us a voice in the direction our elected representatives steer our country. Unfortunately, historically young voters are underrepresented due to their low voting turnout. This came as a shock to me being a young voter myself. Growing up in California I was excited about getting the chance to vote, to have a voice as it were

American Elections And Its Low Voter Turnout

1142 words - 5 pages these countries have shown more success in the turn out of voters. This is a question that many individual political scientists and political party campaign advisors seem to come by. A large question asked is why is American voter turnout so low; and how can we boost voter output.Now American voters are the lowest turnout of voters in the world, with the exception of Switzerland. This is possibly because of the fact that we do not have automatic

Improving Low Voter Turnout In The United States

670 words - 3 pages In our system of government we are privileged with the option to take part in the political process that runs the country. It is our right to vote that lets the people influence change in policy and set the guidelines that politicians must follow to be elected representatives. This precious ability, which is most coveted in most non-democratic countries, is taken for granted in our own. I believe that the low voter turnout in most

A Downward Trend In Federal Election Voter Turnout In Canada

1907 words - 8 pages Through the nineteen nineties and the two thousands, federal election voter turnout maintained a downward trend in Canada. The vote is one of civic obligation that citizens must follow for their civil liberties and rights. When a controversial issue arises, people participate in various forms of political activities to ensure that their rights and liberties are not threatened by government or politicians. Mostly, protest is used to resolve the