CUE OR NO C(L)UE? How parties shape climate opinion formation using experimental insights from USA and Sweden
Sammanfattning: As a central actor in shaping domestic climate policies, political parties play a vital role inbuilding public support for policies aimed at mitigating climate change. However, previousresearch has neglected the role of political parties for individual climate opinion formation. Thisthesis studies the potential for political parties to lead public opinion into becoming moresupportive of climate mitigation policies. I investigate whether party cues increase peoples’willingness to take policy information that demonstrate the usefulness of climate policies intoaccount in their opinion formation. I test the hypothesis that in-party cues in combination withpolicy information increase policy support with unique experimental data on two recent climatepolicy initiatives in USA and Sweden, two countries that have used considerably differentapproaches to climate change mitigation. The experimental results find no support for myhypotheses. While in-party cues together with policy information were not found tosignificantly increase policy support, results also indicated a lowering support when the policieswere endorsed by out-parties. The implications of the results nuance long-standing evidence ofelite influence on citizens’ policy opinions and question the ability of political parties to shapepublic climate policy preferences.
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