The Nordic Voter is the first book-length comparative analysis of voting behaviour in the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.
Leading scholars from national election studies teams present a detailed account of voter turnout, party identification, satisfaction with democracy, preferential voting, government support and party choice. The five-nation study is based on a comparative data set prepared uniquely for this book that allows for comprehensive analysis of the diversity in voting behaviour in the Nordic countries, as well as discrepancies between Nordic and non‑Nordic countries.
The book counters the widespread tendency for comparative analyses to lump Nordic countries together. Its general claim, substantiated by a unique and extensive empirical analysis of voter behaviour, is that the differences between the Nordic countries are in fact so large – in terms of institutional settings and micro-level voting behaviour – that there is no justification for making general claims about a typical ‘Nordic voter’.
The authors challenge presumptions about ‘remarkable similarities’ between Nordic voters, revealing numerous examples of remarkable dissimilarities between voters in the Nordic countries.
'Some of the most prominent Scandinavian scholars of electoral behaviour convincingly debunk the myth of Nordic exceptionalism. While the five Nordic countries are often seen as being similar systems, this study shows how different they really are and how, in several key aspects of electoral behaviour, such as the role of party identification, they are becoming even more dissimilar. Comparative research at its best.'
Wouter van der Brug
Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam
'Bengtsson et al offer comprehensive empirical analyses based on election studies in the five Nordic countries, to demonstrate how aspects of electoral behaviour differ significantly between nations. The authors cover important dimensions of voter behaviour and the institutional settings that help explain the similarities and differences between each country, and go on to challenge the idea of Nordic electoral exceptionalism. This highly welcome book represents a great step forward for comparative electoral research on the Nordic countries, and it will be of huge benefit to electoral researchers in this field.'
Department of Political Science, University of Oslo
President of the Nordic Political Science Association, 2011‒2014