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How economic crises affect political representation: declining party‒voter congruence in times of constrained government


Traber, Denise; Giger, Nathalie; Häusermann, Silja (2018). How economic crises affect political representation: declining party‒voter congruence in times of constrained government. West European Politics, 41(5):1100-1124.

Abstract

How do economic crises affect political representation in times of constrained government? Our paper shows that among voters salience of economic issues increases during economically harsh times. However, parties respond only to a limited degree to economic shocks, with the result that congruence between parties and voters decreases. We theorise the incentives and disincentives different political parties have in choosing a saliency strategy and we provide evidence on the extent to which congruence depends on the severity of economic shocks and the government/opposition status of the party. We draw on cross-national data to measure issue salience for parties (CMP) and voters (CSES). While our findings clearly indicate a decline of congruence in times of economic crisis, we also find that it remains best for government and office-seeking opposition parties. We substantiate this finding by unpacking the ways in which incumbent and office-seeking opposition parties address the economy in their manifestos.

Abstract

How do economic crises affect political representation in times of constrained government? Our paper shows that among voters salience of economic issues increases during economically harsh times. However, parties respond only to a limited degree to economic shocks, with the result that congruence between parties and voters decreases. We theorise the incentives and disincentives different political parties have in choosing a saliency strategy and we provide evidence on the extent to which congruence depends on the severity of economic shocks and the government/opposition status of the party. We draw on cross-national data to measure issue salience for parties (CMP) and voters (CSES). While our findings clearly indicate a decline of congruence in times of economic crisis, we also find that it remains best for government and office-seeking opposition parties. We substantiate this finding by unpacking the ways in which incumbent and office-seeking opposition parties address the economy in their manifestos.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:political representation, issue salience, economic crisis, government parties, office-seeking vs. policy-seeking opposition parties
Language:English
Date:September 2018
Deposited On:31 Jul 2018 10:02
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:29
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2017.1378984

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