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Scientific article
English

I the people? self-interest and demand for government responsiveness

Published inComparative political studies, vol. 50, no. 6, p. 794-821
Publication date2017
Abstract

Whether elected representatives should be responsive to the wishes of the majority of citizens has been an issue often discussed from a normative perspective. This article shifts the focus by looking at the determinants of support for responsiveness among citizens. Its core argument is that attitudes toward responsiveness vary systematically depending on the policy gains an individual can expect from a government that is responsive to the preferences of the majority of citizens. The analysis of data from the European Social Survey and 21 countries confirms these expectations. Individuals whose ideological stances are reflected well by the incumbent government are less favorable to the idea that governments should be responsive to the preferences of the majority, while one's proximity to the ideological location of the median citizen increases the odds of support for majority responsiveness. Our findings are stable across a large variety of European democracies.

Citation (ISO format)
ROSSET, Jan, GIGER, Nathalie, BERNAUER, J. I the people? self-interest and demand for government responsiveness. In: Comparative political studies, 2017, vol. 50, n° 6, p. 794–821. doi: 10.1177/0010414015621078
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ISSN of the journal0010-4140
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