Voting for Our Story: A Narrative Model of Electoral Choice in Multiparty Systems

Tamir Sheafer, Shaul R. Shenhav*, Kenneth Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Based on narrative approaches, the authors develop an empirical technique to gauge the match between stories told by political actors and voters and assess its effect on voting behavior. Even with other fundamental attitudinal and demographic factors held constant, they hypothesize that voters should prefer parties that hold and communicate similar national narratives. Using data gathered during the 2009 elections to the Israeli Knesset, the authors gauge voter attitudes about fundamental national narratives in Israel and conduct a systematic analysis of parties’ discourse in parliamentary speeches to gauge parties’ stories. Controlling for demographics and ideology in a series of logistic regressions, the authors find that voting behavior for most parties is significantly affected by the narrative proximity between voters’ stories and parties’ stories.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)313-338
Number of pages26
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Israel
  • multiparty system
  • narrative identity
  • narrative proximity
  • national stories
  • voting behavior


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