Making a difference: Political efficacy and policy preference construction

Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan*, Eran Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


How does individual political efficacy affect the construction of policy preferences? This article presents a model of individual-level politicization of policy preference, which draws on psychological and political explanations and posits that greater external political efficacy results in a stronger effect of political ideology on concrete policy preference. Two empirical studies that test this hypothesis are reported: an original survey experiment conducted in Israel, and an analysis that relies on the 2002 wave of the European Social Survey. The empirical findings support the hypothesis. In contrast to the established conviction that no association exists between political efficacy and policy preferences, these findings reveal that external political efficacy has a polarizing effect on expressed policy preferences.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)295-322
Number of pages28
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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