A referendum held in a south-west German state, Baden-Württemberg, demonstrates a remarkable difference in voting behavior between two regions with different historical entities: Baden and Württemberg (or Swabia). This result is striking if one considers its circumstances: First, the corresponding historical political institutions have not existed for over 60 years. Second, there was no visible discourse referring to this historical divide during the campaigns. Third, the historical divide was even more visible at this referendum than at another referendum 60 years ago when the historical divide was at stake. Given that, Study I demonstrates that the historical divide has an effect even when controlling for alternative explanations for the referendum result. To explain how the historical divide affected the current voting behaviour, we rely on the model of frame selection and argue that the citizens in former Baden employed a different frame of the situation and hence did not consider economic factors as much as citizens in previous Württemberg did. Study II gives the evidence for the theoretical argument. Such distinct ways of decision-making can, however, be balanced off in the area where the citizens in both parts can interact with each other, for which Study III provides some empirical evidence.
The link to the page of the Colloquium: https://www.sowi.uni-kl.de/soziologie/aktuelles/