This article investigates the impact of niche party success on the policy agendas of mainstream parties. Following from the expected electoral effects of issue politicization, the success of radical right and green parties will cause different reactions from mainstream parties. While mainstream parties emphasize anti-immigrant positions in response to radical right success, green party success will have the opposite effect for environmental issues. Since green parties constitute issue owners, their success will make established parties de-emphasize the environment. Analyzing time-series cross-section data for sixteen Western European countries from 1980 to 2011, this article empirically establishes that green and radical right parties differ in their effect on mainstream party behavior and that their impact depends on the ideological position and past electoral performance of the mainstream parties.
Economic statistics inform citizens of general conditions, while central leaders use them to evaluate local officials. Are economic data systematically manipulated? After establishing discrepancies in economic data series cross-nationally, this article examines Chinese sub-national growth data. It leverages variation in the likelihood of manipulation over two dimensions, arguing that politically sensitive data are more likely to be manipulated at politically sensitive times. Gross domestic product (GDP) releases generate headlines, while highly correlated electricity production and consumption data are relatively unnoticed. In Chinese provinces, the difference between GDP and electricity growth increases in years with leadership turnover, which is consistent with juking the stats for political reasons. The analysis points to the political role of information and the limits of non-electoral accountability mechanisms in authoritarian regimes.
Do parties listen to their voters? This article addresses this important question by moving beyond position congruence to explore whether parties respond to voters' issue priorities. It argues that political parties respond to voters in their election manifestos, but that their responsiveness varies across different party types: namely, that large parties are more responsive to voters' policy priorities, while government parties listen less to voters' issue demands. The study also posits that niche parties are not generally more responsive to voter demands, but that they are more responsive to the concerns of their supporters in their owned issue areas. To test these theoretical expectations, the study combines data from the Comparative Manifestos Project with data on voters' policy priorities from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and various national election studies across eighteen European democracies in sixty-three elections from 1972-2011. Our findings have important implications for understanding political representation and democratic linkage.
Theories often explain intraparty competition based on electoral conditions and intraparty rules. This article further opens this black box by considering intraparty statements of preferences. In particular, it predicts that intraparty preference heterogeneity increases after electoral losses, but that candidates deviating from the party's median receive fewer intraparty votes. Party members grant candidates greater leeway to accommodate competing policy demands when in government. The study tests the hypotheses using a new database of party congress speeches from Germany and France, and uses automated text classification to estimate speakers' relative preferences. The results demonstrate that speeches at party meetings provide valuable insights into actors' preferences and intraparty politics. The article finds evidence of a complex relationship between the governing context, the economy and intraparty disagreement.
This article aims to maximize the reliability of presidential power scores for a larger number of countries and time periods than currently exists for any single measure, and in a way that is replicable and easy to update. It begins by identifying all of the studies that have estimated the effect of a presidential power variable, clarifying what scholars have attempted to capture when they have operationalized the concept of presidential power. It then identifies all the measures of presidential power that have been proposed over the years, noting the problems associated with each. To generate the new set of presidential power scores, the study draws upon the comparative and local knowledge embedded in existing measures of presidential power. Employing principal component analysis, together with the expectation maximization algorithm and maximum likelihood estimation, a set of presidential power scores is generated for a larger set of countries and country time periods than currently exists, reporting 95 per cent confidence intervals and standard errors for the scores. Finally, the implications of the new set of scores for future studies of presidential power is discussed.
The article examines the relationship between corruption and voting behavior by defining two distinct channels: pocketbook corruption voting, i.e. how personal experiences with corruption affect voting behavior; and sociotropic corruption voting, i.e. how perceptions of corruption in society do so. Individual and aggregate data from Slovakia fail to support hypotheses that corruption is an undifferentiated valence issue, that it depends on the presence of a viable anti-corruption party, or that voters tolerate (or even prefer) corruption, and support the hypothesis that the importance of each channel depends on the salience of each source of corruption and that pocketbook corruption voting prevails unless a credible anti-corruption party shifts media coverage of corruption and activates sociotropic corruption voting. Previous studies may have underestimated the prevalence of corruption voting by not accounting for both channels.
Existing research suggests that voters tend to respond positively to legislator independence due to two types of mechanism. First, dissent has an indirect effect, increasing a legislator's media coverage and personal recognition among constituents (profile effects). Secondly, constituents react positively to dissent when this signals that the legislator has matching political or representational preferences (conditional evaluation). This article presents a third effect: dissent acts as a valence signal of integrity and trustworthiness. Consistent with the valence signalling mechanism, it uses new observational and experimental evidence to show that British voters have a strong and largely unconditional preference for legislators who dissent. The findings pose a dilemma for political systems that rely on strong and cohesive parties.
Procedural fairness theory posits that the way in which authoritative decisions are made strongly impacts people's willingness to accept them. This article challenges this claim by contending that democratic governments can achieve little in terms of acceptance of policy decisions by the procedural means at their disposal. Instead, outcome favorability is the dominant determinant of decision acceptance. The article explicates that while central parts of procedural fairness theory are true, outcome favorability is still overwhelmingly the strongest determinant of individuals' willingness to accept authoritative decisions. It improves on previous research by locating all key variables into one causal model and testing this model using appropriate data. Findings from a large number of experiments (both vignette and field) reproduce the expected relationships from previous research and support the additional predictions.
While previous research on the reciprocal effects of citizens' issue attitudes and their party support emphasize citizens' issue positions, political competition revolves equally around issue salience - that is, debates over which issue areas political parties should prioritize. Using multi-wave panel survey data from Germany and Great Britain, this study analyzes the reciprocal effects of citizens' issue salience and their party support, and concludes that citizens' issue priorities both influence and are influenced by their party attachments and, moreover, that these effects are linked to parties' long-term associative issue ownership. This effect is strongest among supporters of a small issue-orientated niche party, the German Greens.
The ability of the news media to mobilize voters during an election campaign is not well understood. Most extant research has been conducted in single-country studies and has paid little or no attention to the contextual level and the conditions under which such effects are more or less likely to occur. This study tests the mobilizing effect of conflict news framing in the context of the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. The unique multi-method and comparative cross-national study design combines a media content analysis (N548,982) with data from a two-wave panel survey conducted in twenty-one countries (N532,411). Consistent with expectations, conflict framing in campaign news mobilized voters to vote. Since the effect of conflict news was moderated by evaluations of the EU polity in the general information environment, conflict framing more effectively mobilized voters in countries where the EU was evaluated more positively.
Does exposure to political violence prompt civilians to support peace? We investigate the determinants of civilian attitudes toward peace during ongoing conflict using two original panel datasets representing Israelis (n=996) and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza (n=631) (149 communities in total). A multi-group estimation analysis shows that individual-level exposure to terrorism and political violence makes the subject populations less likely to support peace efforts. The findings also confirm psychological distress and threat perceptions as the mechanism that bridges exposure to violence and greater militancy over time. The study breaks ground in showing that individual-level exposure - necessarily accompanied by psychological distress and threat perceptions - is key to understanding civilians' refusal to compromise in prolonged conflict.
Political violence remains a pervasive feature of electoral dynamics in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, even where multiparty elections have become the dominant mode of regulating access to political power. With cross-national data on electoral violence in Sub-Saharan African elections between 1990 and 2010, this article develops and tests a theory that links the use of violent electoral tactics to the high stakes put in place by majoritarian electoral institutions. It is found that electoral violence is more likely in countries that employ majoritarian voting rules and elect fewer legislators from each district. Majoritarian institutions are, as predicted by theory, particularly likely to provoke violence where large ethno-political groups are excluded from power and significant economic inequalities exist.
This article provides the first systematic cross-country analysis of interest group appearances in the news media. The analysis included three countries - the UK, Spain and Denmark - each representing one of Hallin and Mancini's(1) three overall models of media and politics: the liberal system, the polarized pluralist system and the democratic corporatist system. It finds important similarities across countries with high levels of concentration in media coverage of groups, more extensive coverage of economic groups than citizen groups, and differential patterns of group appearances across policy areas and between right-and left-leaning papers. It also identifies country variation, with the highest degree of concentration among group appearances in Spanish newspapers and the most attention to economic groups in Danish newspapers.
Did the American public become more protectionist during the Great Recession of 2007-09? If so, why? During this period, many observers expressed concern that rising unemployment would stimulate protectionist pressures. The results of this study indicate that although increased unemployment did not affect the trade preferences of most Americans, individuals working in import-competing industries who lost their jobs during the Great Recession did grow more hostile to trade. However, even greater hostility to trade stemmed from a variety of non-material factors. Increasing ethnocentrism and opposition to involvement in world affairs between 2007 and 2009 help account for growing antipathy toward trade. But most importantly, increasing anxiety that foreign commerce would harm people in the future, even if it had not done so thus far, contributed to mounting opposition to trade among the American public.
A vast amount of experimental evidence suggests that get-out-the-vote encouragements delivered through door-to-door canvassing have large effects on turnout. Most of the existing studies have been conducted in the United States, and are inspiring European mobilization campaigns. This article explores the empirical question of whether the American findings are applicable to Europe. It combines existing European studies and presents two new Danish studies to show that the pooled point estimate of the effect is substantially smaller in Europe than in the United States, and finds no effects in the two Danish experiments. The article discusses why the effects seem to be different in Europe compared to the United States, and stresses the need for further experiments in Europe as there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the European effects. While one possible explanation is that differences in turnout rates explain the differences in effect sizes, the empirical analysis finds no strong relationship between turnout and effect sizes in either Europe or the United States.
Political competition is expected to become less particularistic as prosperity rises and a middle class emerges. But particularistic linkages persist despite rising wealth in urban Ghana. Politicians are unable to commit to campaign promises with voters who want large-scale public policies, many of whom are in the middle class. This creates incentives to avoid mobilizing many of these voters and to ignore their preferences. As a result, voters who want major public policies rather than patronage differentially refrain from participation, allowing poorer voters to dominate the electorate and party organizations. This may only reinforce politicians' disincentives to make policy appeals, and stall the emergence of more policy-based electoral competition even as the middle class grows.
To understand how electoral reform affects political outcomes, one needs to assess its total effect, incorporating how the reform affects the outcomes given the political status quo (the mechanical effects) and the additional reactions of political agents (the psychological effects). This article proposes a framework to ascertain the relative magnitude of mechanical and various psychological effects. The empirical approach is based on pairwise comparisons of actual and counterfactual seat allocation outcomes. It uses the design to analyze a nationwide municipal electoral reform in Norway, which changed the seat allocation method from D'Hondt to Modified Sainte-Lague. The study documents clear psychological effects.
The unusually stable Earth system of the Holocene epoch of the past 10,000 years, in which human civilization arose, is yielding to a more dynamic and unstable Anthropocene epoch driven by human practices. The consequences for key institutions, such as states, markets and global governance, are profound. Path dependency in institutions complicit in destabilizing the Earth system constrains response to this emerging epoch. Institutional analysis highlights reflexivity as the antidote to problematic path dependency. A more ecological discourse stresses resilience, foresight and state shifts in the Earth system. Ecosystemic reflexivity can be located as the first virtue of political institutions in the Anthropocene. Undermining all normative institutional models, this analysis enables re-thinking of political institutions in dynamic social-ecological terms.
This article introduces the concept of orchestration as the mobilization of an intermediary by an orchestrator on a voluntary basis in pursuit of a joint governance goal. Orchestrator-Intermediary theory then provides a model of indirect governance that supplements delegation models premised on principal-agent theory. Under both theories, governors enhance their governance capacity by drawing on the capabilities of third parties. Whereas delegation is premised on hard 'contractual' control over the agent, however, orchestration relies on the soft control of like-minded intermediaries through material and ideational support. The two models overlap, and governors mix them in practice, but distinguishing between them analytically can broaden and deepen analysis of indirect forms of governance. This article discusses the circumstances under which each model provides a better fit for real-world problems, as well as the key limitations of each model. Among other things, orchestration is relatively more likely in democratic than authoritarian systems, when governors have limited direct capacities of their own and when veto players are more numerous. Orchestration is not always more desirable than delegation, but it provides an important alternative in some circumstances. Multiple examples from both domestic and international settings are used to illustrate this claim. The article closes with key considerations regarding the effectiveness and legitimacy of orchestration.
Voluntary compliance is an important aspect of strong tax regimes, but there is limited understanding of how social norms favoring compliance emerge. Using novel data from urban Nigeria, where tax enforcement is weak, this article shows that individuals with a positive experience of state services delivery are more likely to express belief in an unconditioned citizen obligation to pay tax. In addition to support for this fiscal exchange mechanism, social context is consequential. Where individuals have access to community-provided goods, which may substitute for effective state services provision, they are less likely to adopt pro-compliance norms. Finally, the article shows that norm adoption increases tax payment. These findings have broad implications for literatures on state formation, taxation and public goods provision.