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“Voting for Nostalgia?: Authoritarian Legacies and Political Behavior in East Asia” by Sanghoon Kim-Leffingwell

July 30, 2021 @ 9:00 am 10:00 am JST

Registration required!

Authors: Sanghoon Kim-Leffingwell (Illinois).

Abstract: Legacies of an authoritarian past still leaves enduring effects on voters’ political attitudes and behavior. I argue that authoritarian nostalgia is still a defining factor in voter behavior in post-authoritarian democracies and test this argument with a novel measure for authoritarian nostalgia. With original data collected from South Korea and Taiwan, I examine the degree to which authoritarian nostalgia provides a primary source of social identity observable through heightened ingroup and outgroup sentiment. I further investigate the mechanism of nostalgia-based voting by employing a candidate choice experiment. With social-identity based partisanship, voters high in authoritarian nostalgia are more attracted to candidates evoking nostalgia over those with high programmatic or ideological proximity. The combined results show how the sentiment for the former regime is a central determinant for political behavior in maturing democracies.

Discussants: Bryn Rosenfeld (Cornell), Darin Self (Cornell), Joshua A. Tucker (New York University), and T.Y. Wang (Illinois State).

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