Jag har bidragit med två kapitel i boken, Party Leader effects on the Vote (tillsammans med Sören Holmberg) och Leader Traits, Leader Image and Vote Choice (tillsammans med Dieter Ohr). Boken kan nu beställas här eller här för alla som önskar fördjupa sig i akademisk forskning om betydelsen av partiledare. Jag har bloggat tidigare om några resultat från boken. Det finns många myter om partiledareffekter och vilka typer av egenskaper som betalar sig i form av väljarsympatier och röster. Ett litet korrektiv till dessa föreställningar som bygger på Political Leaders and Democratic Elections kan du läsa här.
Political Leaders and Democratic Elections unravels and evaluates the importance of political leaders in the vote decision. Outcomes of legislative elections are typically reported in terms of party support: how many votes and seats were obtained by each party? But in fact voters are faced with three choices which must be folded into one. They must decide which party they prefer, but in doing so they also choose among the policies advocated by these parties, and among the leaders who eventually have to enact them. This simple fact raises the question of the relative weight of these dimensions in vote choice, and particularly the relative importance of leaders. Surprisingly, the question has been largely neglected in the vast literature on voting behavior. The dominant traditions in voting behavior focus on political parties and party identification, and on political issues and ideology respectively. This volume systematically assesses the role of political leaders in the vote decision in nine democracies (Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United States), over a period of up to 50 years, using election surveys. It assesses the changes in political communication (particularly the rise of televized politics) over the past decades. It explains how important political leaders are in different types of political systems. It shows that the electoral system and other political institutions do affect the share of leader evaluations in vote choice. And it shows, in contrast with popular wisdom, how unimportant characteristics of the leaders themselves, characteristics of their parties, and characteristics of their voters are for vote choice. Finally, the volume shows that voters tend to let themselves be guided by the leaders they like rather than being pushed away from those they dislike.