Cascade or echo chamber? A complex agent-based simulation of voter turnout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract

Using an agent-based simulation of electoral participation, this paper examines the second order or cascade effects of an exogenous increase in turnout. Unlike most previous applications of agent-based modelling in political science, we adopt a descriptively complex rather than a simple model of behaviour. Experimenting with different levels of mobilisation allows estimation of the extent to which mobilisation spreads beyond the primary mobilisation target across the population as well as whether or not it survives over time. We argue that in a complex world cascade effects are smaller than previously thought. However, mobilisation effects can create secondary effects through habitual voting and increases in political interest and party affiliation, which reverberate over time, creating long-term spillover effects.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalParty Politics
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date4 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • campaign, elections, simulation, social networks, turnout

ASJC Scopus subject areas