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Left-right ideology: Its meaning and effects on party preferences in Serbia

Sociološki Pregled. 2016;50(2):161-178 DOI 10.5937/socpreg1602161T


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Journal Title: Sociološki Pregled

ISSN: 0085-6320 (Print); 2560-4880 (Online)

Publisher: Sociological Society of Serbia, Belgrade

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Sociology (General)

Country of publisher: Serbia

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Todosijević Bojan (Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 4 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Left-right ideology is regarded as an expression of socio-economic divisions. More recently, it has expanded to incorporate orientations such as nationalism or postmaterialism, and relaxed its association with social structure. Furthermore, the meaning of the political left and right varies across political contexts. As a result it is questionable to what extent left-right labels can successfully function as heuristic devices for political orientation. In order to understand the meaning of the left-right ideological dimension in a specific context it is necessary to examine the ways public responds to these labels, its socio-economic correlates, and its associations with party preferences. These tasks are undertaken in this paper, focusing on Serbia. The paper examines the readiness of Serbian respondents to identify with the leftright ideological labels, and develops a multivariate model of party preferences using socioeconomic variables and left-right scale and predictors. The study is based on data from the 2012 Serbian election study, a public opinion survey of 1568 voting age citizens of Serbia. Results indicate that about two thirds of respondents are willing to express their left-right ideological positions. This ideological dimension, however, has weak socio-economic roots, and is weakly, though significantly, associated with party preferences.