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Title: Vox Populi Vox Dei? Electoral Competition and Government Responsiveness in Advanced Democracies
Authors: Bernardi, Luca
Supervisors: Morales, Laura
Clements, Ben
Award date: 28-Jun-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: If elections are instruments of democracy, are governing parties more likely to address citizens’ concerns when pressures from electoral competition arise? This research tests expectations from the competitive theory of democracy and argues that government responsiveness, between elections, is more likely to occur in presence of a set of electoral incentives. This dissertation’s focus is on government attention to public issue priorities on three policy venues (executive speeches, public spending and legislation) across a range of policy domains in Canada, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This research shows that government responsiveness to public priorities is higher in more symbolic policy venues and tends to decrease in more substantive policy venues. Similarly, electoral incentives seem to have a more beneficial effect on responsiveness in the agenda-setting stage than in the policy-making stage. This suggests that incentives from electoral competition do not have the same impact on responsiveness when government attention is considered and that theories of party competition have a delimited applicability to the study of dynamic representation.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Sponsors / Funders: The research presented in this dissertation was supported by a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (Grant 284277) to the ResponsiveGov project ( I am grateful for this funding. The ERC is not responsible for the interpretations or conclusions derived from the analyses presented in this dissertation.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Politics and International Relations
Leicester Theses

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