Place-based affect and the cosmopolitan-nationalist divide

Sven Hegewald, Dominik Schraff

Publikation: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Recent research points to a re-emergence of the urban-rural cleavage in Europe. Yet, existing work does not account for the affective mechanisms that make geographic divides relevant for politics to begin with. In this paper, we introduce the concept of place-based affect, proposing that like and dislike across the urban-rural divide provides a powerful explanation for Europe’s electoral geography, particularly for identity-based conflicts, such as the cosmopolitan-nationalist cleavage. We argue that urban place-based affect increases the likelihood to vote for cosmopolitan parties, while rural place-based affect draws voters to nationalist parties. Relying on original survey data from Germany, we show that individuals from rural places, who like their own kind, but dislike city people, are more inclined to vote for nationalist parties. In con-trast, urbanites, liking city people and disliking people from rural areas, tend to vote more cos-mopolitan.
UdgiverOSF Preprints
Antal sider36
StatusUdgivet - 8 jul. 2022