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Persuasive PeersSocial Communication and Voting in Latin America$
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Andy Baker, Barry Ames, and Lúcio Rennó

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691205779

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691205779.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

Social Communication and Voting Behavior

Social Communication and Voting Behavior

(p.3) 1 Social Communication and Voting Behavior
Persuasive Peers

Andy Baker

Barry Ames

Lúcio Rennó

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the nature of voting behavior and election outcomes in Latin America. Armed only with vertical understandings of political intermediation, research on Latin American voters “conceives the citizen as an independently self-contained decision-maker,” ignoring voters' embeddedness in peer networks. For this reason, even when referring to groups and so-called social factors, research on Latin American voting behavior is dominated by economistic and psychological approaches that see voters as social isolates. The chapter explains that the book illuminates the influence of horizontal social networks and political discussion on a central political act, voting behavior, in Latin America. Beneath all the elite-level strategizing, messaging, and maneuvering that plays out through vertical intermediaries lies a world of social communication and peer effects that scholars of Latin American politics have roundly ignored.

Keywords:   voting behavior, election outcomes, Latin America, political intermediation, Latin American voters, peer networks, social networks, political discussion, social communication, Latin American politics

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