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Durham University

School of Government & International Affairs

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Gidon Cohen

Cohen, Gidon & Cohen, Sarah (Accepted). Depolarization, Repolarization and Redistributive Ideological Change in Britain, 1983-2016. British Journal of Political Science

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

In this article we examine party sorting, elite cue and ideological polarization ac-
counts of polarization dynamics. We test their diering expectations about trends in
redistributive ideological polarization and partisan polarization in the British case using
repeated cross-section and panel data. We reject party sorting accounts, which require
ideology to be stable and changes in party support to drive partisan polarization, be-
cause we nd that ideology trends with elite polarization and that ideological change
causes partisan polarization. We reject elite cue accounts, which argue that it is mainly
the ideology of partisans that follows elite polarization, because we nd virtually identi-
cal trends for initially ideological similar non-partisans too. We thus nd support for an
ideological polarization account where changes in elite polarization are associated with
general changes in citizen redistributive ideology.