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Four worlds of morality politics: the impact of institutional venues and party cleavages

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The most prominent theory accounting for variation of morality politics across Western Europe is the so-called Two Worlds framework. According to this approach, the presence or absence of a secular‐religious cleavage in national party systems strongly affects the degree of conflict intensity and the framing of morality policy issues. This article shows that the explanatory power of the Two Worlds model could be enhanced significantly by introducing a second analytical dimension that captures the institutional venue (party politics vs. parliamentary politics), in which moral conflicts take place. This is useful because there are instances in which a religious cleavage is lacking, but moral conflicts are nonetheless highly intense and party-based (the traditionalist world), and there are cases in which the religious cleavage formally exists, but moral conflicts are nonetheless resolved in the parliamentary arena (the unsecular world).
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Keywords: French politics; LGBT rights; Morality politics; framing; political parties; same-sex marriage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany 2: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication date: March 4, 2018

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