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The communicational dimension of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance: Media reporting and perceived legitimacy in four European cities


Christmann, Anna; Kübler, Daniel; Hasler, Karin; Marcinkowski, Frank; Schemer, Christian (2013). The communicational dimension of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance: Media reporting and perceived legitimacy in four European cities. In: 43rd Conference of the Urban Affairs Association, San Francisco, 3 April 2013 - 6 April 2013.

Abstract

As cities grow and expand, complex network governance (advocated by the so-called ‘new regionalism’) is increasingly important for policy-making in metropolitan areas. These arrangements have often been criticised as a threat to legitimacy, as they involve a wide array of policy-actors and blurrs and dilute electoral accountability. This paper focuses on the communicational dimension of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance, by exploring the role of the media. We use data from a standardized content analysis of newspaper coverage on metropolitan policy-making in four European mega- and metacities (Paris, London, Berlin and Zurich) and examine their relationship to legitimacy perceptions at the individual level on the basis of survey data. We find that institutional differences in metropolitan governance are quite adequately reflected in media reports. The results also show that media content indeed is correlated with citizen perceptions of legitimacy, i.e. trust in government as well as satisfaction with democracy. We therefore interpret the media as an additional - communicational – channel of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance.

Abstract

As cities grow and expand, complex network governance (advocated by the so-called ‘new regionalism’) is increasingly important for policy-making in metropolitan areas. These arrangements have often been criticised as a threat to legitimacy, as they involve a wide array of policy-actors and blurrs and dilute electoral accountability. This paper focuses on the communicational dimension of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance, by exploring the role of the media. We use data from a standardized content analysis of newspaper coverage on metropolitan policy-making in four European mega- and metacities (Paris, London, Berlin and Zurich) and examine their relationship to legitimacy perceptions at the individual level on the basis of survey data. We find that institutional differences in metropolitan governance are quite adequately reflected in media reports. The results also show that media content indeed is correlated with citizen perceptions of legitimacy, i.e. trust in government as well as satisfaction with democracy. We therefore interpret the media as an additional - communicational – channel of democratic accountability in metropolitan governance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:6 April 2013
Deposited On:30 Jan 2014 09:22
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 08:55
Publisher:Urban Affairs Association
Related URLs:http://urbanaffairsassociation.org/conference/past-conferences/

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