Genetic and Environmental Approaches to Political Science

Zoltán Fazekas, Peter K. Hatemi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Over the past decade, a growing interest in the possibility that biological factors, including genes, might contribute to individual differences in political and social behaviors has emerged. Behavioral genetic techniques have provided a variety of approaches to quantify the effects of genetic and nongenetic inheritance. However, until quite recently, these methods were largely unknown to political scientists. In this essay, we review the general approaches to modeling genetic and social influences on differences in complex human social traits. In so doing, we focus on the “genetics of politics,” including attitudes, ideologies, voting, and partisanship. The emergence of this research reflects a paradigm shift in the study of social traits necessitating the inclusion of biological influences, and recognizing the interdependence of genetic, social, and environmental factors in the development of political behaviors over the life course.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences : An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource
EditorsStephen M. Kosslyn, Robert A. Scott, Marlis C. Buchmann
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationHoboken, N.J
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9781118900772
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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