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Title: Vox populi vox dei? : electoral competition and government responsiveness in advanced democracies
Author: Bernardi, Luca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8693
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2016
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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.
Supervisor: Morales, Laura ; Clements, Ben Sponsor: European Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available