Article

The Public as Thermostat: Dynamics of Preferences for Spending

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Abstract

Theory: Democratic accountability requires that the public be reasonably well-informed about what policymakers actually do. Such a public would adjust its preferences for ''more'' or ''less'' policy in response to policy outputs themselves. In effect, the public would behave like a thermostat; when the actual policy ''temperature'' differs from the preferred policy temperature, the public would send a signal to adjust policy accordingly, and once sufficiently adjusted, the signal would stop. Hypotheses: In domains where policy is clearly defined and salient to the public, changes in the public's preferences for more policy activity are negatively related to changes in policy. Methods: A thermostatic model of American public preferences for spending on defense and a set of five social programs is developed and then tested using time series regression analysis. Results: Changes in public preferences for more spending reflect changes in both the preferred levels of spending and spending decisions themselves. Most importantly, changes in preferences are negatively related to spending decisions, whereby the public adjusts its preferences for more spending downward (upward) when appropriations increase (decrease). Thus, consistent with the Eastonian model, policy outputs do ''feed back'' on public inputs, at least in the defense spending domain and across a set of social spending domains.

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... Other work on political competition argues that parties compete by emphasizing certain issue dimensions (Budge, 2015;Petrocik, 1996;Riker, 1996). Some issues matter more to voters than others, and governments are rewarded for delivering on those that matter most (Soroka and Wlezien, 2010;Wlezien, 2004). The electoral return of credit claiming therefore depends on the salience of the issues for which governments claim credit. ...
... First, the permanent reversal of party strategies depends on Brexit remaining salient in public spheres outside of the UK. Scholars have shown that party and government responsiveness to public opinion is largely conditional on the issue being salient (see Wlezien 1995Wlezien , 2004Franklin and Wlezien 1997) and without remaining salient, Brexit fails to provide new information to publics and parties on the desirability of the status quo. To explore the evolution of Brexit salience outside of the UK, I use Google Trends data. ...
... First, the permanent reversal of party strategies depends on Brexit remaining salient in public spheres outside of the UK. Scholars have shown that party and government responsiveness to public opinion is largely conditional on the issue being salient (see Wlezien 1995Wlezien , 2004Franklin and Wlezien 1997) and without remaining salient, Brexit fails to provide new information to publics and parties on the desirability of the status quo. To explore the evolution of Brexit salience outside of the UK, I use Google Trends data. ...
Thesis
National governments are accused of being evasive and opportunistic in their presentation of European integration, thereby exacerbating the EU's crisis of legitimacy. Yet empirical evidence on how governments present Europe at home is limited to a small handful of qualitative studies. This thesis provides the first comparative, quantitative study of how governments - and the parties that form them - present Europe in their domestic public spheres, and what these presentational strategies mean for representation and legitimacy in the EU. Inspired by Fenno's 1978 classic, I call this their `home style'. Through innovative text as data methods combining machine translation, automated text analysis, and hand coding, I show that rather than adopting a nationalist home style marked by evasiveness and opportunism, governments have responded to EU politicization by adopting a home style I label technocratic-patriotic. Technocratic, in the sense that gov- ernments actually talk frequently about the EU, but avoid clear position taking on the issue by defusing it with complex language. Patriotic, in the sense that governments extensively claim credit for defending the national interest on the European stage, but in fact rarely blame or criticise the EU directly. I argue that despite not fitting the stereotypical image of evasive, opportunistic blame shifters, this technocratic-patriotic home style still poses deep problems for democratic accountability in Europe's multilevel system of governance. The thesis also contributes two resources to the academic community: EUCOSpeech, an original dataset of over 6,000 statements by national leaders in the aftermath of EU summits, and EUParlspeech, an original dataset of over 1 million references to European integration made in parliamentary speeches between 1989 and 2019.
... 2.1, we motivate the use of a stylised equation to represent climate tipping elements in a conceptual manner. 105 This equation exhibits a double-fold bifurcation (see Fig. 2) ...
... This is what explain in the hereafter. The basic Monte Carlo ensemble without the extension for basin stability is set up as follows: for each pair of global mean temperatures (GMT) and interaction strengths d, there is a sample of size 100 constructed with initial conditions from the uncertainty range in T limit,i and s ij using a latin hypercube algorithm [105] (see tables A.1 and A.2). Latin hypercube sampling is an extension to the usual random sampling and is used to improve the space coverage of initial conditions. Therefore, the space of initial conditions is separated into its dimensions, i.e., the number of different initial parameters (here [17], see tables A.1 and A.2). ...
... Hence, for each of the 32 combinations, we chose 10 different initial conditions ending up with 320 different settings. For the 320 randomly chosen perturbations (i.e., the initial conditions of the tipping elements), we again used a latin hypercube algorithm [105]. That means it fulfils the condition that each of the 32 different possible signs of the initial conditions in their five-dimensional subspace (one dimension for each tipping element) is covered equally often. ...
Thesis
With ongoing anthropogenic global warming, some of the most vulnerable components of the Earth system might become unstable and undergo a critical transition. These subsystems are the so-called tipping elements. They are believed to exhibit threshold behaviour and would, if triggered, result in severe consequences for the biosphere and human societies. Furthermore, it has been shown that climate tipping elements are not isolated entities, but interact across the entire Earth system. Therefore, this thesis aims at mapping out the potential for tipping events and feedbacks in the Earth system mainly by the use of complex dynamical systems and network science approaches, but partially also by more detailed process-based models of the Earth system. In the first part of this thesis, the theoretical foundations are laid by the investigation of networks of interacting tipping elements. 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Using the Earth system Model of Intermediate Complexity (EMIC) CLIMBER-2, the temperature feedbacks are quantified, which would arise if some of the large cryosphere elements disintegrate over a long span of time. The cryosphere components that are investigated are the Arctic summer sea ice, the mountain glaciers, the Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheets. The committed temperature increase, in case the ice masses disintegrate, is on the order of an additional half a degree on a global average (0.39-0.46 °C), while local to regional additional temperature increases can exceed 5 °C. This means that, once tipping has begun, additional reinforcing feedbacks are able to increase global warming and with that the risk of further tipping events. This is also the case in the Amazon rainforest, whose parts are dependent on each other via the so-called moisture-recycling feedback. 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... Still, as with consistency, the limited period over which preferences and policies are measured makes it difficult to ascertain which came first. And preferences can change in part because of previous policy changes (see Wlezien, 1995). Such interaction over time is missed by the covariation approach but can be captured in the dynamic representation approach. ...
... There is strong evidence that policymakers respond to changes in public opinion. Wlezien (1995) developed a "thermostatic" model of the (dynamic) reciprocal links between preferences and government spending-that is, a model that examined both opinion representation over time and public responsiveness to policy change. Dynamic models such as these seemingly are best equipped for investigating the causal relationships between opinion and policy. ...
... 6 Even assuming we have the right question wording, to assess congruence we need to match up preferences with spending, which is also difficult to get straight, as it depends on what the public has in mind. 7 Perhaps most importantly, using relative preferences to indicate congruence presumes that the public responds thermostatically to policy, taking into account both the level of policy it wants and the amount it gets (Soroka & Wlezien, 2010;Wlezien, 1995). Otherwise, measured relative preferences really do not tell us anything about the public's satisfaction with the policy status quo. ...
Chapter
The link between public opinion and public policy is of special importance in representative democracies, as we expect elected officials to care about what voters think. Not surprisingly, a large body of literature tests whether policy is a function of public preferences. Some literature also considers the mechanisms by which preferences are converted to policy. Yet other work explores whether and how the magnitude of opinion representation varies systematically across issues and political institutions. In all this research, public opinion is an independent variable—an important driver of public policy change—but it is also a dependent variable, one that is a consequence of policy itself. Indeed, the ongoing existence of both policy representation and public responsiveness is critical to the functioning of representative democracy.
... , 1931-1995the Social Democratic Alliance, 1999-present. Left-socialists: Communist Party, 1931-1937United Socialist Party, 1942-1953People's Alliance, 1956-1995Left-Green Movement, 1999-present. ...
... , 1931-1995the Social Democratic Alliance, 1999-present. Left-socialists: Communist Party, 1931-1937United Socialist Party, 1942-1953People's Alliance, 1956-1995Left-Green Movement, 1999-present. Source: Statistics Iceland 18 2.2 Turnout in Althingi elections and recruitment of MPs, 1931MPs, -2017 Note: Recruitment is defined as the proportion of new members who had not had a seat in the Althingi in the term previous to the election. ...
... The Independence Party always strongly supported the US base and NATO membership, and the party leadership was clearly disappointed when the Americans decided unilaterally to close their base in 2006 (Thorhallsson, 2019). The Independence Party supported Icelandic membership , 1931-1995the Social Democratic Alliance, 1999-present. Left-socialists: Communist Party, 1931-1937United Socialist Party, 1942-1953People's Alliance, 1956-1995Left-Green Movement, 1999-present. ...
... According to thermostatic models of public opinion, the relationship between policymaking and public opinion is dynamic (19). Citizens respond to policy outputs, and when these outputs are more liberal/conservative than their preferences, they communicate their desire for more conservative/liberal policies through surveys, through activism, and by voting out incumbents. ...
... Citizens respond to policy outputs, and when these outputs are more liberal/conservative than their preferences, they communicate their desire for more conservative/liberal policies through surveys, through activism, and by voting out incumbents. Parties either adapt to these signals by revising their platforms, supporting different candidates, and voting for policies the public wants or they continue to lose elections (19,20). A widely used measure of public opinion is referred to as the "policy mood," which captures where aggregate public opinion falls along a liberal-conservative dimension (21). ...
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Using a general model of opinion dynamics, we conduct a systematic investigation of key mechanisms driving elite polarization in the United States. We demonstrate that the self-reinforcing nature of elite-level processes can explain this polarization, with voter preferences accounting for its asymmetric nature. Our analysis suggests that subtle differences in the frequency and amplitude with which public opinion shifts left and right over time may have a differential effect on the self-reinforcing processes of elites, causing Republicans to polarize more quickly than Democrats. We find that as self-reinforcement approaches a critical threshold, polarization speeds up. Republicans appear to have crossed that threshold while Democrats are currently approaching it.
... In contrast, some public opinion theories suggest that welfare state support will weaken in times of crisis or be rather short-lived. Most prominently, proponents of a negative feedback claim that "in effect, the public would behave like a thermostat; when the actual policy 'temperature' differs from the preferred policy temperature, the public would send a signal to adjust policy accordingly, and once sufficiently adjusted, the signal would stop" (Wlezien, 1995(Wlezien, :, 1995. The model explains policy preferences as a function of a fixed, individual preference for an optimal level of policy output (for example, spending) and the current level (Soroka & Wlezien, 2010). ...
... In contrast, some public opinion theories suggest that welfare state support will weaken in times of crisis or be rather short-lived. Most prominently, proponents of a negative feedback claim that "in effect, the public would behave like a thermostat; when the actual policy 'temperature' differs from the preferred policy temperature, the public would send a signal to adjust policy accordingly, and once sufficiently adjusted, the signal would stop" (Wlezien, 1995(Wlezien, :, 1995. The model explains policy preferences as a function of a fixed, individual preference for an optimal level of policy output (for example, spending) and the current level (Soroka & Wlezien, 2010). ...
Article
Our analysis asks whether the pandemic situation affects welfare state support in Germany. The pandemic has increased the health and income risks calling for welfare state intervention. While increased needs, more deservingness, and higher state responsibility during such a crisis would suggest augmented support generally and among those at risk, this might be a short‐term effect and cost considerations could reverse this trend. We study public attitudes towards four key social policy areas based on the German Internet Panel (GIP). We use three waves prior and further three waves since the pandemic had been declared in March 2020. The analysis shows both continuity in the popularity of social policies, in particular health and pensions, and some short‐term increase in support for unemployment and family policies. The results after nearly 2 years suggest rather continuation with some thermostatic short‐term boosts in support instead of any long‐lasting change. 本文研究了2019冠状病毒病大流行是否会影响德国的福利制度支持。大流行提高了卫生风险和收入风险,需要更多的福利制度干预。尽管在这类危机期间,需求、应得性和国家责任的增加将暗示支持的普遍扩大和为风险人群提供更多支持,但这可能是一种短期效应,并且出于成本的考量可能会扭转这一趋势。基于德国互联网专家组(GIP)提供的数据,我们使用2020年3月大流行宣布之前的三轮调查以及宣布之后的三轮调查,研究了公众对四个关键社会政策领域的态度。分析表明,社会政策的普及性具有连续性(尤其在卫生和养老金方面),并且对失业和家庭政策的支持在短期内有所增加。我们的研究结果在近两年后表明,福利制度支持继续出现一些恒定的短期提升,而不是长期的变化. Nuestro análisis investiga si la situación de la pandemia afecta al apoyo del estado de bienestar en Alemania. La pandemia ha aumentado los riesgos para la salud y los ingresos, lo que requiere una mayor intervención del estado de bienestar. Si bien una mayor necesidad, más merecimiento y una mayor responsabilidad del estado durante una crisis de este tipo sugerirían un mayor apoyo en general y entre aquellos en riesgo, esto podría ser un efecto a corto plazo y las consideraciones de costos podrían revertir esta tendencia. Estudiamos las actitudes públicas hacia cuatro áreas clave de política social basadas en el Panel de Internet alemán, utilizando tres encuestas GIP anteriores y tres oleadas posteriores desde que se declaró la pandemia en marzo de 2020. El análisis muestra tanto la continuidad en la popularidad de las políticas sociales, en en particular, salud y pensiones, y algún aumento a corto plazo en el apoyo al desempleo y las políticas familiares. Nuestros resultados después de casi dos años sugieren más bien una continuación con algunos aumentos termostáticos a corto plazo en el soporte en lugar de un cambio duradero.
... Most generally, oneand arguably dominantline of reasoning, sometimes referred to as democratic learning theories, connects positive experiences with the state to both diffuse and specific political support (Bratton and Mattes 2001;Boräng, Nistotskaya, and Xezonakis 2017;Magalhães 2013;Park 2016). A contrasting approach argues for a thermostatic model of public opinion (Wlezien 1995), where an increase in the supply of democracy would lead to a decline in support for democracy, while deterioration of democracy would bring about increases in democratic support following the rule that 'one values what one does not have'. To date, few empirical studies test these competing claims with longitudinal data. ...
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Social scientists can choose from among multiple quality of governance indicators which use different conceptualizations of governance and its components, rely on different data sources, and employ different aggregation and scaling techniques. Despite all differences, these indicators are commonly found to be strongly correlated, which makes the choice of indicator for a given analysis seem inconsequential. We focus on rule of law indicators to demonstrate that correlations among them are indeed high when comparing across countries or using pooled country-year data sets, but are surprisingly low – sometimes even negative – within countries. Given the increased interest of researchers in longitudinal analyses with country time series, low agreement between country time trends in the rule of law is concerning. We illustrate the problem with an analysis of the effect of rule of law on popular support for democracy, which leads to opposite conclusions depending on which measure of rule of law is used.
... On the one hand, public opinion on military policy may be guided by national agenda, wider geopolitics, and elite narratives (Eckles and Schaffner, 2011). On the other hand, researchers have also found that the public have reasonably nuanced views on matters of defence and foreign policy, like military expenditure (Wlezien, 1995;Aldrich et al., 2006). We are not aware of any study that compares public opinion on military and civilian projects, and we are therefore interested in exploring whether there are any structural differences in public opinion, either in the trajectory over time or in the issues raised. ...
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Megaprojects, due to their size, scale, and technical complexity are expensive and controversial, and how they proceed over time is a key topic of interest. This paper seeks to identify the issues surrounding changes in public opinion over time and discusses a larger question on whether such knowledge can be generalized across projects. An automated text analysis technique called ‘sentiment analysis’ has been used to plot trajectories for four UK megaprojects from newspaper articles. The empirical setting includes two military and two (civil) infrastructure projects, allowing the exploration of differences between the two fields as a secondary line of analysis.
... In a dramatic example, what started off as a school boycott by one single girl in Sweden quickly developed into a global movement. In addition, public opinion plays an important role in the sense of the "public as a thermostat" [65]. Even in more autocratic regimes, people have the power to change the fate of the country, as was proven by the Monday demonstrations in the former German Democratic Republic, for instance. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the natural sciences, the concept of “(natural) tipping points” has become a hot topic in climate change research. To better understand and evaluate the possibilities for and the barriers to the fundamental societal transformations necessary for climate change mitigation, we suggest a social tipping dynamics framework. We contrast this framework with previous accounts of stability and change and show that integrating these approaches under the umbrella of a social tipping dynamics framework provides us with a more encompassing and therefore more realistic account for theorizing and empirically analyzing the different (technological, behavioral, and political) paths and related interdependencies to fundamental societal change. Moreover, by emphasizing the agency aspect, we highlight that the type of fundamental change required in effective climate change mitigation is more strongly actor-driven than previous approaches have suggested. In a second step, we apply our framework to the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons and thereby illustrate its merits. To conclude, we summarize the value of the concept of social tipping dynamics, including its limitations and potential for improving political analysis.
... The assumption that these are the elites perceived by populist voters as acting against the interests of the common people, however, does not hold when populist parties and leaders have been elected into power. One possibility is that the successful election of populist politicians would satisfy the demands which had led voters to hold populist attitudes, thus resulting in a decline in those attitudes (in which case populism would be acting as a "thermostatic" attitude [8], signalling a demand for change and then dissipating once change has been achieved). The other possibility that we highlight here is that populists elected to power and their supporters simply shift the targets of their anti-elite sentiments to other non-political elite groups such as journalists, academics/experts, bureaucrats (as exemplified by the so-called "deep state"), and corporate business leaders. ...
Article
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Populist attitudes are generally measured in surveys through three necessary and non-compensatory elements of populism, namely anti-elitism, people-centrism, and Manicheanism. Using Comparative Study of Electoral Systems Module 5 (2016–2020) data for 30 countries, we evaluate whether this approach explains voting for populist parties across countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas. We show that the existing scales of populist attitudes effectively explain voting for populists in countries where populist leaders and parties are in opposition but fail to explain voting for populist parties in countries where they are in power . We argue that current approaches assume “the elite” to mean “politicians”, thus failing to capture attitudes towards “non-political elites” often targeted by populists in office—in particular, journalists, academics/experts, bureaucrats, and corporate business leaders. The results reveal limits to the usefulness of existing survey batteries in cross-national studies of populism and emphasize the need to develop approaches that are more generalizable across political and national contexts.
... Um dos mais ambiciosos trabalhos recentes sobre legitimidade democrática tem sido realizado por Claassen (2020) ao aplicar o conceito de "mood", inicialmente desenvolvido no campo dos estudos "macro" de opinião pública para analisar fenômenos como avaliação de governo (Erikson, Mackuen e Stimson, 2002;Soroka e Wlezien, 2010;Wlezien, 1995). O enquadramento teórico de tais estudos concebe a dinâmica da opinião 15 "Na Turquia, por exemplo, uma das medidas propunha demitir servidores públicos que não apoiassem o partido do candidato, e outra sugeria substituir juízes que parecessem enviesados contra o partido do candidato. ...
Article
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Resumo Os recentes fenômenos relacionados à denominada crise das democracias, como o populismo e a polarização política, têm colocado novos desafios à pesquisa sobre legitimidade e apoio político. Diante dos reconhecidos limites do modelo eastoniano, desde a década de 1990, vários autores têm proposto novas perspectivas analíticas aos estudos sobre o fenômeno. No presente artigo, apresentamos e analisamos, além da concepção original de David Easton, cinco perspectivas recentes que têm trazido inovações relevantes aos estudos sobre apoio político. Na parte final, são discutidos os avanços e os limites dessa literatura para a compreensão de alguns dilemas das democracias contemporâneas, especialmente o crescente apoio do eleitorado a candidatos e partidos com plataformas políticas autoritárias em vários países do mundo.
... Jacobs and Shapiro (2000), for example, argue that rather than capturing responsiveness, correlations between opinion and elite behavior may be indicators of successful efforts on the part of politicians to mold opinion to be consistent with pre-existing elite policy preferences. Wlezien (1995) and Erikson et al. (1999) contend that aggregate preferences for or against increased government spending are reasonably related to prior patterns of increase or decrease in spending. This thermostatic account holds that the public will start turning against increased spending after a period of sustained increases and, conversely, will start preferring spending increases after a period of spending cuts. ...
Article
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The study of substantive representation has taught us much about the relationship between elected officials and the public. Most studies in this literature investigate politicians’ responsiveness to polls, leaving the relationship between other expressions of public opinion and politicians’ behavior under-investigated. Analyzing President William J. Clinton’s public statements and an original data set capturing the substance and quantity of mail received by the Clinton White House, this paper explores the connection between polls, constituent mail, and presidential rhetoric during the Clinton era. The analyses show that Clinton quite frequently referenced constituent mail to link his actions and proposals to public opinion, that mail-gauged public opinion is generally dramatically different from poll-gauged opinion, and that issues that are prominent in constituent mail, especially across a longer time span, are more likely to be subsequently mentioned in presidential rhetoric than issues absent from mail correspondence. White House Studies 14 (4), 383-396
... Like symbolic ideology and partisanship, which fluctuate over time and policy context (Ellis and Stimson 2009;Wlezien 1995), symbolic opinion of socialism has shifted despite somewhat consistent operational (i.e. policybased) policy beliefs. ...
Article
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The supposed popularity of socialism among young Americans has been a trending topic in American political media and campaigns. While evidence from public opinion polls disagrees as to whether socialism is truly gaining in popularity, the use of the term “socialism” has had a profound impact on policy discussions in the media and has featured as a prominent Republican Party strategy in the 2020 election cycle. This gives rise to important questions: How do individuals react to the socialist label? Does the socialist label serve as an ideological or affective signal? Are attacks that frame policies as socialist effective in decreasing policy support? Using original observational and experimental survey data, we find that individuals have strong polarized affective reactions to the socialist label. However, framing popular social welfare policies as socialist is ineffective in undermining popular support. Implications suggest that framing political policies as socialist may trigger affective polarization, it is likely an ineffective means of political persuasion. As a result, oversaturation of the term in the media may lead to misleading conclusions about both political ideology and individual political behavior.
... Like symbolic ideology and partisanship, which fluctuate over time and policy context (Ellis and Stimson 2009;Wlezien 1995), symbolic opinion of socialism has shifted despite somewhat consistent operational (i.e. policy-based) policy beliefs. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The supposed popularity of socialism among young Americans has been a trending topic in American political media and campaigns. While evidence from public opinion polls disagrees as to whether socialism is truly gaining in popularity, the use of the term "socialism" has had a profound impact on policy discussions in the media and has featured as a prominent Republican Party strategy in the 2020 election cycle. This gives rise to important questions: How do individuals react to the socialist label? Does the socialist label serve as an ideological or affective signal? Are attacks that frame policies as socialist effective in decreasing policy support? Using original observational and experimental survey data, we find that individuals have strong polarized affective reactions to the socialist label. However, framing popular social welfare policies as socialist is ineffective in undermining popular support. Implications suggest that framing political policies as socialist may trigger affective polarization, it is likely an ineffective means of political persuasion. As a result, oversaturation of the term in the media may lead to misleading conclusions about both political ideology and individual political behavior.
... where R is the public's relative preferences, P* is the public's preferred level of policy, and P is the actual level of policy (Wlezien, 1995). This is not always the case, and even where preferences really are "thermostatic," and reflect both the public's (possibly underlying) preferred level of policy and policy itself, they are not equally so (also see Soroka and Wlezien, 2010). ...
Chapter
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This chapter addresses how well government actions reflect what the mass public wants in representative democracies. To begin with, we formally depict policy congruence before reviewing research that assesses the representation of public preferences in government actions, which has only begun to examine the match between the two. We then turn to representation in policy agendas, which is necessary (but not sufficient) for policy congruence, but where the relationship is more difficult to conceive and capture empirically, as we will see. We next consider who gets represented in both agendas and policy decisions, research on which is further complicated by strong correlations in preferences among different subgroups across issues and over time. We finish with a call for research on implemented policy outputs themselves; while agendas and decisions are important and guide government actions, we also want to understand whether, how, and why those actions reflect what the public wants.
... El quid de la teoría consiste en que el tratamiento de los grupos-meta tiene efectos duraderos, tanto sobre aquellos focalizados por la intervención administrativa, como por aquellos beneficiarios o perjudicados por los códigos conductuales que promueve la política. Específicamente, las políticas públicas tienen efecto sobre el comportamiento político (Mettler, 2005;Soss, 1999) y las actitudes políticas (Wlezien, 1995;Morgan y Campbell, 2011;Soss y Schram, 2007). ...
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Este artículo presenta una explicación del marco analítico de Helen Ingram y Anne Schneider y expone tendencias de su aplicación en investigaciones empíricas donde las políticas públicas son objeto de análisis. Para tal fin se realizó un análisis de setenta y cinco referencias bibliográficas anglófonas entre 1993 y 2020, utilizando ocho criterios de revisión documental. Se destacan tres resultados: omisión de argumentos de causalidad explícitos para sintonizar el marco con las intenciones investigativas, ambigüedad en la instrumentalización de la propuesta como “marco o teoría”, y pluralidad en la utilización de los tipos ideales en tanto categorías descriptivas de la posición de grupos-meta.
... That mechanism is usually the ballot box. If voters do not like policies pursued by the incumbent, they can retaliate at the polls (Fiorina 1981;Wlezien 1995 The 1995 State Pension reform act is used as a case study to answer this question. The reform increased the minimum state pension age for certain women from 60 to 65. Al-though the policy was enacted in 1995, the actual effects did not materialise until more than 15 years later. ...
Thesis
This thesis monitors the evolution of voting behaviour and public opinion as a function of the socio-economic composition of the electorate. While much research focuses either on public opinion data or electoral outcome data, I bring the two together, yielding a detailed analysis of behavioural and preference changes produced by some of the most fundamental policy decisions implemented over the past three decades in the United Kingdom (EU enlargement, Brexit referendum and pension reforms). Empirically, the thesis combines high quality sources of data from secure panel studies, population censuses, Freedom of Information requests, electoral results and other administrative databases, and applies cutting edge causal inference methodology to reveal how demographic changes in the country have shaped the political sphere. The first paper, “Pension Reform: Electoral Accountability with Time Lags", finds that voters become and remain disillusioned with politics when policies are implemented, and information is disseminated with a considerable time lag. In the second paper, “Migration: Low-Cost Flights and Far-Right Votes”, Joachim Wehner and I develop an instrumental variable approach and find that the spatial predictability of migrant settlement linked to pre-existing transport infrastructure has a large positive effect on changes in support for far-right anti-immigrant parties. In the last paper, “Naturalisation: Brexit and the Making of New Citizens”, I explore how the Brexit referendum could shape future electoral turnout and outcomes by changing the profile and incentives of the average naturalized citizen. The thesis makes three main contributions. Firstly, it challenges the assumption that voters react immediately when presented with new policies, especially those that have long implementation lags. Secondly, it provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how diverse actors respond to demographic changes. Lastly, it encourages the concomitant use of public opinion and observational data to study policy implications.
... Policy also exerts interpretive effects by conveying to the public the trends, values and realities of certain issues (Mettler & Soss, 2004;Pacheco, 2013). In response, the public behaves in a way described by Wlezien (1995) as a "thermostat" -developing or adjusting its policy preferences to guide policymakers to introduce more or fewer changes. In the context of immigration, public policy defines the number and mobility of immigrants and thus the types of threats they may pose to a society, and also signals the level of anti-immigrant attitudes in the population. ...
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Past studies have shown that disease threat increases people's hostility towards immigrants. However, in our survey (N = 9571) conducted in five advanced Asian economies during the outbreak of COVID‐19, we found that COVID‐19 vulnerability was positively associated with support for immigration. Drawing on insight from policy feedback theories, we propose that the positive association is caused by the presence of widespread border crossing restrictions, which have changed the meaning and cost implications of COVID‐19. As the outbreak expands, the pandemic has become not just a threat to people's health but also a barrier to globalization. Consequently, people who are worried about the disease may see globalization processes, including migration, as signs of pandemic relief. We find supportive evidence in our analysis. First, the positive association between COVID‐19 vulnerability and support for immigration is more salient among respondents who considered restrictions on international travel to be stringent. Second, the positive association between COVID‐19 vulnerability and immigration attitude was mediated by perceived economic threat from the pandemic and contribution by immigrants towards the containment of the pandemic. These findings suggest that disease control measures adopted at the global level may alter certain widely accepted effects of disease threat on immigration attitudes.
... Public policy preferences respond like a thermostat, signalling when things are 'too hot' and 'too cold'. 16 At some point government policy tends to 'overshoot' the electorate's ideal point and, after a time, policy gets out of line with preferences. Figure 4.5 displays non-military government expenditure (NMGE) as a proportion of GDP from 1951 to 2017. ...
... Furthermore, if the state health system is viewed as a form of public investment, then people may be more inclined to agree with greater investment in a service in which they already have a large stake, in order to avoid its depreciation(Hedegaard, 2018). On the other hand, in a seminal article,Wlezien (1995) demonstrated a 'thermostatic' relationship between changes in actual levels of public expenditure and people's spending preferences: once spending in a specific area increases, popular support for it decreases and vice versa. Extending this logic, it could be expected that the more countries already spend on public healthcare, the less willing their citizens will be to make further sacrifices to increase this expenditure.Empirical studies provide some evidence in favor of the first argument. ...
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One of the potential ways to improve the financial sustainability of public healthcare services is to increase taxes, as health systems are subject to mounting financial strain, especially in advanced welfare states. Yet, there is very limited recent empirical evidence on people's willingness to pay higher taxes for better healthcare and what factors influence it, especially in comparative perspective. To narrow this gap in knowledge the present article analyzes public opinion survey data from 27 countries across the world at different levels of economic development. The results indicate that overall support for the idea is not high, though there are considerable differences between countries. Counterintuitively, these differences are not related to how much countries currently spend on public or private healthcare, or the healthcare financing and risk-pooling mechanisms they have in place. At the individual level, people who express greater willingness to pay more are those with higher perceived social status and with tertiary education, as well as those who are more satisfied with the performance of their national health system. The latter finding has an important practical implication: policymakers seeking to increase spending on public healthcare services first need to convince their electorate that the funds are currently being utilized effectively. Future studies can provide additional insights by investigating the effects of tax systems and ideological predispositions, as well as comparing the willingness to pay higher taxes for better healthcare with preferences for alternative arrangements, such as tax incentives for taking up private health insurance.
... Mitigating climate change requires citizens to accept costly domestic policies that contribute to a global public good. While many studies show that public policy choices are, by and large, subject to considerable influence from public opinion, particularly in democratic systems (Anderson et al. 2017;Wlezien 1995), such influence is bound to be particularly strong when new policies impact directly and in costly ways on certain segments of society. This is ever more so when the efficacy of such policies is often dependent also upon the behavior of other countries. ...
Article
When considering public support for domestic policies that contribute to a global public good, such as climate change mitigation, the behavior of other countries is commonly regarded as pivotal. Using survey experiments in China and the United States we find that other countries’ behavior matters for public opinion, but in a contingent manner. When citizens learn that other countries decrease their emissions, this leads to support for further domestic action. Yet, support for reciprocal behavior is not a necessary consequence of other countries increasing their emissions. Responding in-kind to emissions increases abroad depends upon the home country’s past behavior and who the other country is. Our results imply that the international context remains important, despite global climate policy now relying more on unilateral action and polycentric governance. They also show, however, that we need to pay greater attention to contingent effects of countries’ positive and negative behavior in this area.
... This positive assessment of the state of representative democracy chimes well with other literature that finds a strong influence of (changing) public opinion on policy change (Burstein 2003;Erikson 2015;Hakhverdian 2010Hakhverdian , 2012Stimson 1991;Stimson et al. 1995). Again, much of the initial work on the "thermostat" model had been done on the U.S. case and other Anglo-Saxon countries (Wlezien 1995(Wlezien , 2004, but Soroka and Wlezien themselves have applied it to other contexts as well, finding support for their argument (Wlezien and Soroka 2012). ...
... We followJennings (2009) in usingStimson's (1991) concept of 'mood' to describe macro-opinion towards immigration (see alsoClaassen 2020;Kellstedt 2000;Wlezien 1995). ...
Article
After decades of relatively high inflows of foreign nationals, immigration is now at the center of substantial political divisions in most European countries and has been implicated in one of the most vexing developments in European politics, the rise of the xenophobic right. However, it is not clear whether high levels of immigration actually do cause a public backlash, or whether publics become habituated to, and supportive of, immigration. This study tests these backlash and habituation theories using novel measures of immigration mood and immigration concern produced by combining over 4,000 opinion datapoints across twenty-nine years and thirty countries. The authors find evidence of a public backlash in the short to medium run, where mood turns negative and concern about immigration rises. Yet the study also finds evidence of a longer-run process of habituation that cancels out the backlash effect within one (concern) to three (mood) decades.
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Abstract: Canada has often been seen as immune from the powerful backlash against globalization and immigration that has driven political shifts elsewhere. This paper challenges this belief, at least in part, by tracing the evolution of public attitudes towards immigration and analyzing the factors that have shaped the trajectory for over three decades. Drawing on nearly forty years of Environics Focus Canada surveys, combined with annual data on macroeconomics and immigration flows, findings here suggest that Canadians’ tolerance towards immigration responds to immigration flows, and is heavily influenced by macroeconomic conditions.
Book
A central question in political representation is whether government responds to the people. To understand that, we need to know what the government is doing, and what the people think of it. We seek to understand a key question necessary to answer those bigger questions: How does American public opinion move over time? We posit three patterns of change over time in public opinion, depending on the type of issue. Issues on which the two parties regularly disagree provide clear partisan cues to the public. For these party-cue issues we present a slight variation on the thermostatic theory from (Soroka and Wlezien (2010); Wlezien (1995)); our “implied thermostatic model.” A smaller number of issues divide the public along lines unrelated to partisanship, and so partisan control of government provides no relevant clue. Finally, we note a small but important class of issues which capture response to cultural shifts.
Article
Societal transformations are necessary to address critical global challenges, such as mitigation of anthropogenic climate change and reaching UN sustainable development goals. Recently, social tipping processes have received increased attention, as they present a form of social change whereby a small change can shift a sensitive social system into a qualitatively different state due to strongly self-amplifying (mathematically positive) feedback mechanisms. Social tipping processes with respect to technological and energy systems, political mobilization, financial markets and sociocultural norms and behaviors have been suggested as potential key drivers towards climate action. Drawing from expert insights and comprehensive literature review, we develop a framework to identify and characterize social tipping processes critical to facilitating rapid social transformations. We find that social tipping processes are distinguishable from those of already more widely studied climate and ecological tipping dynamics. In particular, we identify human agency, social-institutional network structures, different spatial and temporal scales and increased complexity as key distinctive features underlying social tipping processes. Building on these characteristics, we propose a formal definition for social tipping processes and filtering criteria for those processes that could be decisive for future trajectories towards climate action. We illustrate this definition with the European political system as an example of potential social tipping processes, highlighting the prospective role of the FridaysForFuture movement. Accordingly, this conceptual framework for social tipping processes can be utilized to illuminate mechanisms for necessary transformative climate change mitigation policies and actions.
Article
Objective To test for multicausality between government policy, health outcomes, economic performance, and citizen behavior during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Methods We perform Granger-causality tests to explore the interrelationship between four endogenous variables, social distancing policy, home isolation, balance rate, and average weekly COVID-19 deaths, in the 26 states of Brazil. As exogenous variables, we included a linear time trend and a dummy for the week in which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Results Our analysis of Granger causal ordering between the four variables demonstrates that there is significant heterogeneity across the Brazilian federation. These findings can be interpreted as underscoring that there is no common model applicable to all states, and that the dynamics are context-dependent. Conclusion Our suggested approach allows researchers to account for the complex interrelationship between government policy, citizen behavior, the economy, and COVID-related health outcomes.
Thesis
There is a scholarly consensus that the responsiveness of elected politicians to the public is necessary for the proper functioning of democracy in the state. Different mechanisms of responsiveness exist, in theory and in practice. However, despite the centrality of this concept in theory, and its social and normative importance, there are virtually no studies that examine responsiveness in the Israeli context. The current research constitutes an exploratory study whose purpose is to map and create a typology of the various perceptions Knesset Members (MKs) have of public opinion.
Chapter
This chapter first reviews previous studies accounting for the degree of liberalisation in public policies. None of the determinants pointed in the literature seem to be able to unravel the mystery of the French case. Rather, several explanatory factors would predict France to be among the most liberal countries in terms of public policy. France is open to globalisation, it belongs to the European Union, it experienced a series of economic crises during the 1970s, the level of political constraints imposed by its veto players is low (the executive has room to manoeuvre with respect to reforms), it has mainly been governed by right-wing parties, and its political system is majoritarian and semi-presidential. Yet, despite the presence of all these favourable factors, France has a more generous Welfare state, a government that spends more, and a more regulated economy than its European neighbours. To explain this research problem, we develop, in this chapter, a model based on the theory of justification costs that makes public opinion a determining variable in the spread of ideology in public policy. Based on a sample of developed countries, our empirical tests confirmed both direct and indirect effects of public opinion. There is a policy responsiveness of government in power to public opinion (direct effect) and political parties to public opinion and the content of their platform predicts the level of liberalisation (indirect effect). The empirical test of the mechanism is valid only for economic policies. We then show, focusing on the French case, that if opinion influences the direction of public policy, it is an indirect relationship that operates through the mediation of party platform. The low level of support for neoliberalism among the parties, as well as its sharp decline at the end of the 1980s, thus explains the absence of significant neoliberal turn in public policies in France over the period studied. No neoliberal revolution took place there, because no legitimating discourse of sufficient magnitude arose in the political arena, because it was too costly to support it politically. At the bottom line, public opinion was resistant to neoliberal discourse across the period, and the cost of opposing interventionism was even higher than in other countries.
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to contribute to the reflection on the role of ideas in political science by attempting a theoretical understanding of three questions. First, why do some ideas have more impact on public policy than others? Second, why has neoliberalism triumphed in some countries but not in others? And third, why has neoliberalism been less influential in France than elsewhere? It reviews and discusses the theoretical explanations that emerge from the comparative literature on the spread of political ideologies (the role of globalisation, class interest, number of institutional veto players, partisanship). The chapter then presents studies that draw on these explanations to understand the spread of neoliberalism in France, and points out their limitations. They failed to take seriously into account ideas in order to explain changes in public policies: ideas matter because they help policymakers to understand facts and take decisions in a complex world. The seriousness and the credibility of ideas of public policies are therefore central to explain the nature of changes in the policymaking. Finally, the chapter formulates the general theoretical framework of the book by proposing a theory of the cost of justifying an ideology which depends on two factors. First, on the size of people who share their beliefs: the more people an individual share an ideology with, the lower the individual cost of justifying that ideology to policymakers. The less public opinion agrees with an ideology, the less successful its promoters will be in implementing the public policies associated with it. Second, the cost of justifying on the expert opinion regarding the ideology in question; the more experts or authorities in a field (i.e. economists in the field of economic policies) are opposed to the new paradigm, the higher the cost of its justification will be. And their positioning depends in turn on the structure of the institutions in which they produce their expertise. The more a country’s knowledge regime fosters policy innovation by integrating a plurality of actors, the more likely it is that neoliberals will be able to influence the decision-making of political elites. Despite those justification costs, the success of intellectual entrepreneurs also depends on their strategical abilities to spread their ideas.
This paper explores electoral consensus regarding local public spending as a way for policymakers, particularly in western democracies, to secure long-term electoral support to govern the sustainability of structural change. Public spending is perceived by local electoral constituencies as immediately affecting people's lives and thus strongly influences individual voting behaviour. Focusing on the case of Italy, this paper explores the electoral consensus–public spending nexus on the municipal level. The results show that, on average, an increase in local public spending is associated with a reduction in electoral consensus towards anti-system parties, whereas an increase in local public spending does not yield a significant raise in electoral consensus for pro-system parties. We find nevertheless heterogeneous effects across different geographical areas and spending categories for both anti-system and pro-system party consensus. The results yield insights for scholarly debate and implications for policymaking to garner the electoral consensus needed for sustainable structural change.
Article
Recent studies show that policy changes appear to correspond primarily to the preferences of citizens with high socio-economic status. However, the mechanisms explaining this trend remain largely unexplored. In this paper, I look closer at the role of political representatives as the critical factor connecting citizens’ opinions and policy changes. While the link between public opinion and elite opinion as well as the link between public opinion and policy output is relatively well studied, few studies have looked at the entire relationship between public opinion, elite opinion, and policy output concerning social groups. This paper combines data from Swedish election studies, surveys with members of parliament, and a database of policy change. It shows that representatives’ opinions reflect advantaged groups better than disadvantaged groups. Similar biases are found in policy responsiveness; policy changes correspond more closely to the opinions of the advantaged groups.
Article
The article presents an empirical analysis of whether, how, and why people are active to either support or protest against the Bundeswehr. Public opinion polls consistently report high levels of trust in the military. According to the social-psychological approach of participation theory, this trust should lead to corresponding actions. However, the literature on civil–military gaps claims that the majority of people pay mere lip service to soldiers rather than actively support the armed forces. No active support despite high levels of trust? In an effort to empirically test the level and the determinants of the public’s support for and protest against the military, an activity scale was included in a representative opinion poll in Germany. The analyses show that a fairly large part of the German population engages in activities that support the Bundeswehr and that public trust in the military predicts that supportive behavior. Importantly, trust in the armed forces remains a strong predictor of citizens’ activities related to the armed forces even when controlling for numerous other factors. Taken together, these findings contradict the widely shared view of a civil–military gap and instead provide empirical evidence for the social-psychological approach of participation theory.
Article
Este trabajo intenta mostrar cómo las características de un tema pueden incidir sobre el ciclo de atención que le prestan los ciudadanos. Partiendo de diferentes teorías sobre la formación de la agenda pública y recurriendo a la triangulación múltiple, analiza la evolución de las prioridades otorgadas por los españoles a los temas de la vivienda, la banca y los desahucios. Los variables independientes examinadas son: el contexto cultural y la coyuntura económica y política; las condiciones reales de los problemas y las políticas públicas; los comportamientos de los actores; y los intereses y valores de los individuos. Los resultados obtenidos muestran como la influencia de estos factores fue distinta en cada tema: mientras que en unos lo determinante son las políticas y la evolución de las condiciones reales del problema, en otros lo es la retórica presidencial, la atención de los medios y la narrativa de los movimientos sociales. El contexto y los intereses y valores de los individuos influyen también, introduciendo sesgos específicos en cada tema, pero con una intensidad moderada. El que influyan más sobre la agenda pública los hechos (las políticas y la evolución del problema) o las palabras (la retórica presidencial, la narrativa de las coaliciones promotoras y la atención de los medios) depende del tema y, en particular, de si los ciudadanos lo conocen o no a través de su propia experiencia y la de los grupos con los que se relacionan
Article
Research often borrows on common yet somewhat unsubstantiated beliefs that unions influence inequality attitudes among unionized and nonunionized workers. This paper draws on inequality attitude data from the General Social Survey and state-level union data from the Current Population Survey and County Business Patterns between 1973 and 2016 to test this hypothesis. Linear probability, fixed-effects, and marginal structural models estimate that a large increase in state union density moderately increases workers’ support for reducing income inequality by three to 12 percentage points. Findings lend some empirical support for the capacity of unions to influence redistributive policy and market attitudes.
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We compare the patterns of adjustment of government policy to changes in public opinion in the Netherlands and the UK. These countries are similar in many ways, except that the UK has plurality elections and single-party government, while the Netherlands has proportional representation and coalition government. This provides the first application of the Macro Polity approach (Erikson et al., 2002) to a country with PR elections. We find that government policy in the Netherlands is highly responsive to public opinion. This cannot be the result of alternation of government, but instead must be the result of some other process, such as coalition bargaining. In the UK, however, the dynamic of adjustment is far more complex. Alternation of government does not produce responsiveness, but rather seems to get in the way of it. This leads to an over-correction dynamic in which policy can be out of line with public opinion for long periods of time.
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The rise of authoritarian government in recent decades have sparked scholarly debate on what makes citizens tolerate and punish undemocratic behavior. Extant explanations hold that citizens may vote for undemocratic politicians if these politicians represent their political interests or hold a competence advantage over competitors. In this paper, I consider a different explanation. Specifically, I focus on whether citizens punish undemocratic behavior more when they perceive democracy in their country as vulnerable and provide experimental tests spanning over two data collections from 2020 and 2021 with a total of 12 country samples. I find that voters punish undemocratic behavior, that they punish it more severely than prior studies have suggested, and that undemocratic behavior drives citizens toward voting for alternative options rather than decreases turnout. Contrary to expectations, I also find that democratic vulnerability sometimes but only in a very restricted set of cases matter for sanctioning of undemocratic behavior.
Article
Social policies in China have expanded rapidly since the early 2000s, broadening welfare provisions aiming to improve citizens’ well‐being in a context of rapid development and increasing inequality. How people see the role of the government in the provision of welfare is important to policy‐making in an authoritarian state, such as China, because regime legitimacy is tied to evaluations of government performance. To what extent have welfare attitudes changed as a new Chinese social security system has emerged? Drawing on nationally representative datasets from the China Inequality and Distributive Justice Survey Project for 2004, 2009 and 2014, this study finds that support for government provision of welfare has increased substantially within all population groups since 2004. Furthermore, traditional social cleavages, such as the urban–rural divide, seem to lose strength as a predictor of redistributive preference, possibly ‘deactivating’ these social cleavages as vehicles of political mobilisation.
Article
This paper focuses on the transferability of policy feedback and responsiveness theories. These theories have enjoyed a great deal of scholarly interest in the past years and are widely applied in different country contexts. However, this theory transfer tends to be more focused on the empirical challenges while neglecting the fact that it also involves normative implications about representative democracy. These implications, I argue, are strongly influenced by the real-world example of the United States, where the theories were originally developed. More specifically, I contend that bringing in theoretical approaches that are more influenced by European experiences such as neocorporatism and party difference theory affects the depiction of the role of interest groups and party government in policy feedback and responsiveness theories. I conclude by highlighting the contours of an empirical research agenda that might further elaborate on these issues.
Article
Numerous studies conclude that declining turnout is harmful for democracy. However, we uncover the arguably positive effect that political parties become more responsive to the median voter in the election after turnout has decreased. We assume that parties are vote seeking and show that moderate voters are responsible for changes in turnout, and we argue that declining turnout in an election sends a clear signal to political parties that there is an opportunity to mobilize disaffected voters in the following election by responding to changes in public opinion. We report the results of statistical analyses on data from thirteen democracies from 1977 to 2018 that provide evidence that declining voter turnout in one inter-election period is associated with increasing party responsiveness to public opinion in the following period. Our findings have important implications for our understanding of voter turnout, political representation, and parties' election strategies.
Article
Long-running surveys need a systematic way to reflect social change and to keep items relevant to respondents, especially when they ask about controversial subjects, or they threaten the items’ validity. We propose a protocol for updating measures that preserves content and construct validity. First, substantive experts articulate the current and anticipated future terms of debate. Then survey experts use this substantive input and their knowledge of existing measures to develop and pilot a large battery of new items. Third, researchers analyze the pilot data to select items for the survey of record. Finally, the items appear on the survey-of-record, available to the whole user community. Surveys-of-record have procedures for changing content that determine if the new items appear just once or become part of the core. We provide the example of developing new abortion attitude measures in the General Social Survey. Current questions ask whether abortion should be legal under varying circumstances. The new abortion items ask about morality, access, state policy, and interpersonal dynamics. They improve content and construct validity and add new insights into Americans’ abortion attitudes.
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Policy processes are affected by how policymakers assess public support for a policy. But is public support for a given policy itself affected by characteristics of the policy process, such as cooperation or confrontation amongst policy actors? Specifically, if different branches of government hold conflicting positions on a given policy, do clashes affect public support for the policy? To address this question, we exploit an unexpected clash amongst the executive and judiciary in New Delhi, between survey waves, over exemptions for women in the context of the odd–even rule, a policy intervention to reduce air pollution from transportation. We find that public support for the contested policy was not undermined by the executive–judiciary clash. However, the clash polarised public opinion by gender, based upon the policy exemptions. Our findings shed new light on the broader question of how conflicts amongst different parts of government influence mass public policy preferences.
Chapter
This chapter investigates the responsiveness of local policy agendas to local problems such as the rate of local unemployment or local crime statistics. Local governments’ capacity to adopt tailored solutions to local problems, or national problems that differ geographically in severity, is a key argument for decentralization. Yet, despite the prominence of this argument in favor of having a potent local level of government, there is hardly any empirical research examining whether local governments react specifically to local problems. To capture this aspect of political representation, we introduce and define the concept of problem-based representation. Furthermore, we collect data on problem indicators across seven issue domains and show how local policy agendas respond to local problems. Moreover, we evaluate the importance of competitive democracies by examining if local policy agendas in municipalities with more intense political competition are more responsive to local problems.
Article
Policy in coalition governments (a) depends on negotiations between parties that (b) continue between elections. No extant means of predicting policy—bargaining power indices, vote shares, seat shares, polling, veto players or measures of electoral competitiveness—recognizes both of these facts. We conceptualize, estimate and validate the first dynamic measure of parties’ bargaining leverage intended to predict policy and politics. We argue that those parties with the greatest leverage in policy negotiations are those with the highest probability of participating in an alternative government, were one to form. Combining a large set of political polls and an empirical coalition formation model developed with out-of-sample testing, we estimate coalition inclusion probabilities for parties in a sample of 21 parliamentary democracies at a monthly frequency over four decades. Applications to government spending and to the stringency of environmental policy show leverage from coalition inclusion probabilities to be strongly predictive while the primary alternatives—vote shares, seat shares and polls—are not.
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Smart Homes and Offices (SHO) are composed of interlinked components with constant data transfer and services targeted at increasing the lifestyle of the people. This chapter describes about the smart components and how SHO are direct implementation of Internet of Things (IOT). The major paradigm in this chapter is appliances supporting smart aspects of SHO, their applications and change in technology in context of smart Homes and Offices. Here we have also discussed the standardization and personalization of gadgets and how it has been increasing our standard of living. Finally, the chapter focuses on privacy preserving mechanisms, its essence over smart cities, strong architecture related to privacy, preserving mechanism, and various approaches available that can retaliate these issues in a smart city environment.
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Obwohl sich mit Blick auf die sich angleichenden Erwerbstätigenquoten von Frauen und Männern ein Fortschritt bei der Gleichstellung im Erwerbssystem konstatieren lässt, sind Frauen weiterhin wesentlich seltener in Führungspositionen anzutreffen. Die humankapitaltheoretische Haus- haltsökonomik macht die Präferenzen von Frauen für Familie für diese vertikale Geschlechtersegregation verantwortlich. Die Genderforschung betont demgegenüber Prozesse mittelbarer Geschlechterdiskriminierung. Deren theoretische und empirische Fassung ist indes äußerst voraussetzungsvoll und empirische Studien sind entsprechend spärlich. Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, im Sinne einer Forschungsagenda den analytischen Blick für drei unterschiedliche genera- tive Prozesse der Geschlechterdiskriminierung zu schärfen: erstens »allokative« Diskriminierung bei der Besetzung von Führungspositionen, zweitens »valuative« Diskriminierung als Benachteiligung gerade in »Frauen- berufen« sowie drittens Diskriminierung von Frauen in Führungspositionen am Arbeitsplatz. Basierend auf der BIBB/BaUA-Erwerbstätigenbefragung 2018 werden zudem empirische Befunde zur möglichen Geschlechterdiskriminierung von Führungskräften am Arbeitsplatz vorgestellt. Es wird untersucht, ob Frauen in Führungspositionen soziale Ressourcen seltener zur Verfügung stehen als anderen Beschäftigten und inwieweit dies ihre Arbeitszufriedenheit und Gesundheit beeinträchtigt. Dies kann als Indiz für (mittelbare) Diskriminierung betrach- tet werden.
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A common thread unites the research on the politics of macroeconomic policy, namely, that specific policy instruments are targeted at specific policy goals. Policy Substitutability, the use of different policy instruments to affect the same goal, is implicitly denied. Yet, economic theory indicates that policymakers have multiple policy instruments at their disposal that can be used alternately or in some combination to manipulate their economies. This paper explicitly addresses macroeconomic policy Substitutability among a set of advanced industrial nations, and focuses on whether certain policies are being used together by governments for political purposes.
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The representation of public preferences in public policy is fundamental to most conceptions of democracy. If representation is effectively undertaken, we would expect to find a correspondence between public preferences for policy and policy itself. If representation is dynamic, policy makers should respond to changes in preferences over time. The integrity of the representational connection, however, rests fundamentally on the expectation that the public actually notices and responds to policy decisions. Such a public would adjust its preferences for 'more' or 'less' policy in response to what policy makers actually do, much like a thermostat. Despite its apparent importance, there is little research that systematically addresses this feedback of policy on preferences over time. Quite simply, we do not know whether the public adjusts its preferences for policy in response to what policy makers do. By implication, we do not fully understand the dynamics of representation. This research begins to address these issues and focuses on the relationships between public preferences and policy in a single, salient domain.
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Public preferences about the availability of abortion under various circumstances have remained fairly stable over time. Yet a standard CBS/New York Times abortion question indicates that a significant shift in opinion occurred during the 1980s, whereby the public became increasingly supportive of legalized abortion as it is now. These very different patterns of public opinion about abortion suggest that the public perceived a shift in the abortion status quo, toward more restricted access, over time, and became more supportive of current abortion policy.A model of support for legalized abortion as it is now is developed that incorporates the influences of court activities and interest-group behavior. The analysis indicates that the public reacted directly to the activities of the courts, becoming more supportive of current abortion policy in response to media coverage of court cases that challenged the abortion status quo and Supreme Court nominations and confirmations. Although absolute preferences remained largely unchanged, it appears the public perceived an increasing threat to the status quo and became correspondingly less enamored with further restrictions on the availability of abortion.
Article
We measure the extent to which military spending policy reflects public opinion, while controlling for other reasonable influences on policy. We use survey data as an indicator of aggregate public opinion on military spending and find evidence that changes in public opinion consistently exert an effect on changes in military spending. The influence of public opinion is less important than either Soviet military spending or the gap between U.S. and Soviet military spending and more important than the deficit and the balance of Soviet conflict/cooperation with the United States. We also examine the hypothesis that public opinion does not influence the government but that the government systematically manipulates public opinion. We find no evidence to support this hypothesis.
Article
Voters in mass elections are notorious for their apparent lack of information about relevant political matters. While some scholars argue that an electorate of well-informed voters is necessary for the production of responsive electoral outcomes, others argue that apparently ignorant voters will suffice because they can adapt their behavior to the complexity of electoral choice. To evaluate the validity of these arguments, I develop and analyze a survey of California voters who faced five complicated insurance reform ballot initiatives. I find that access to a particular class of widely available information shortcuts allowed badly informed voters to emulate the behavior of relatively well informed voters. This finding is suggestive of the conditions under which voters who lack encyclopedic information about the content of electoral debates can nevertheless use information shortcuts to vote as though they were well informed.
Article
In spite of the fact that political eras in the United States are widely (and often ambiguously) defined in terms of a general policy sentiment or mood, political scientists have done little in the way of rigorous analysis regarding this subject. I argue that shifts in domestic policy sentiment along a liberal–conservative continuum may be understood in part as responses to changing economic expectations. Specifically, expectations of a strong economy result in greater support for liberal domestic policies, whereas anticipation of declining economic conditions pushes the national policy mood to the right. Using quarterly data for the period 1968–88, I present a multiple-time-series error correction model that lends considerable support to the hypothesis.
Article
This study examines the nature, sources, and consequences of citizens' attitudes toward government spending. Data from the 1984 CPS National Election Study are used to perform a scaling analysis of mass spending preferences across a set of 10 public policies. The empirical results indicate that there is a coherent structure underlying citizens' attitudes toward social welfare spending. In contrast, spending preferences for nonwelfare programs are separate and largely unrelated concerns. I argue that this distinction is essential for understanding public opinion on government spending. And further analyses incorporating the difference between welfare and nonwelfare spending preferences provide important, theoretically relevant insights about the relationship between citizens in the mass public and stimuli in the political world.
Article
We examine the roles of democratic politics and political institutions in shaping social welfare spending in 18 contemporary capitalist democracies. We explore the social spending consequences of government partisanship, electoral competition and turnout, and the self-interested behaviors of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as such relatively durable facets of political institutions as neocorporatism, state centralization, and traditionalist policy legacies. Pooled time series analyses of welfare effort in 18 nations during the 1960–82 period show that electoral turnout, as well as left and center governments increase welfare effort; that the welfare efforts of governments led by particular types of parties show significant differences and vary notably with the strength of oppositional (and junior coalitional) parties; and that relatively neocorporatist, centralized, and traditionalistic polities are high on welfare effort. Overall, our findings suggest that contrary to many claims, both partisan and nonpartisan facets of democratic politics and political institutions shape contemporary social welfare effort.
Article
Representatives' votes on a series of defense budget roll calls in the first year of the Reagan administration's Pentagon buildup are related to constituency opinions on defense spending during the 1980 election campaign. The strong aggregate constituency demand for increased defense spending in 1980 is estimated to have added almost 17 billion (about 10%) to the total fiscal year 1982 Pentagon appropriation. The impact of constituency opinion was largely independent of specific political circumstances: differential responsiveness in districts with partisan turnover, intense district level competition, and strong presidential coattails together accounted for less than 1 billion in additional appropriations, with the remaining $16 billion attributable to across-the-board responsiveness by even the most safely incumbent representatives.
Article
For political scientists who engage in longitudinal analyses, the question of how best to deal with nonstationary time-series is anything but settled. While many believe that little is lost when the focus of empirical models shifts from the nonstationary levels to the stationary changes of a series, others argue that such an approach erases any evidence of a long-term relationship among the variables of interest. But the pitfalls of working directly with integrated series are well known, and post-hoc corrections for serially correlated errors often seem inadequate. Compounding (or perhaps alleviating, if one believes in the power of selective perception) the difficult question of whether to difference a time-series is the fact that analysts have been forced to rely on subjective diagnoses of the stationarity of their data. Thus, even if one felt strongly about the superiority of one modeling approach over another, the procedure for determining whether that approach is even applicable can be frustrating.
Article
The usual model of electoral reaction to economic conditions assumes the “retrospective” economic voter who bases expectations solely on recent economic performance or personal economic experience (voter as “peasant”). A second model assumes a “sophisticated” economic voter who incorporates new information about the future into personal economic expectations (voter as “banker”). Using the components, both retrospective and prospective, of the Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) as intervening variables between economic conditions and approval, we find that the prospective component fully accounts for the presidential approval time series. With aggregate consumer expectations about long-term business conditions in the approval equation, neither the usual economic indicators not the other ICS components matter. Moreover, short-term changes in consumer expectations respond more to current forecasts than to the current economy. The qualitative result is a rational expectations outcome: the electorate anticipates the economic future and rewards or punishes the president for economic events before they happen.
Article
Carmines and Stimson's theory of racial issue evolution has strongly influenced scholarly and popular interpretations of U.S. party politics. The central proposition of this theory is that racial attitudes have shaped \ the party loyalties of voters who have entered the electorate since 1964. Using data from the 1980 and 1988 American National Election Studies, this paper undertakes a test of the theory of racial issue evolution by examining the relationships between racial attitudes and party identification among white U.S. citizens. The evidence presented in this paper shows that racial attitudes had very little influence on party identification among either younger or older whites. Other issues, especially those involving the scope of the welfare state and national security, played a much larger role in driving many whites away from the Democratic party during the 1980s. Furthermore, racial attitudes had a negligible impact on whites' candidate preference in the 1988 presidential election.
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