Is voting behavior different in rural areas and in urban areas? Is there a lower voter turnout in rural areas? Are people there more discontent with democracy? Are populist parties more successful in rural areas? These are lead question of a new research project at Thünen Institute.
Public media recently reported on political radicalization processes and a lower voter turnout in certain areas of Germany. They argue that people in structurally weak regions feel “left behind” and thus back off from democracy and politics or turn toward populist movements and parties.
The research project “Stability and Acceptance of the Democratic System in Rural Areas” investigates these claims and asks whether there are “feelings of being left behind” that are specific to rural areas and which factors influence them.
The aim of the project is to analyze the complex processes of rural development, social and demographic change and a potentially decreasing acceptance and stability of the democratic system. Drawing on our results we will give policy recommendations on improving living conditions and satisfaction among the rural population, reducing social inequality, and strengthening political and social integration.
In this project we use quantitative methods to analyze election results on a small regional scale.
1.2018 - 12.2019
Project status: finished