Article

Diverse Parties, Diverse Agendas? Female Politicians and the Parliamentary Party’s Role in Platform Formation

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Abstract

Parties’ parliamentary delegations contain a multitude of interests. While scholars suspect that this variation affects party behavior, most work on parties’ policy statements treats parties as unitary actors. This reflects the absence of strong expectations concerning when (and how) the parliamentary caucus matters for platform construction, as well as the difficulties inherent in testing such claims. Drawing on the literature on women’s descriptive representation, we argue that the makeup of the parliamentary party likely has important consequences for issue entrepreneurship, the scope of issues represented on the manifesto, and even the left-right position of election platforms. With the most comprehensive party-level study of women’s representation ever conducted, we test our three diversity hypotheses using data on the gender makeup of parties’ parliamentary delegations and the content of their manifestos for 110 parties in 20 democracies between 1952 and 2011. We show that as the percentage of women in the parliamentary party increases, parties address a greater diversity of issues in their election campaigns. Women’s presence is also associated with more left-leaning manifestos, even when controlling for parties’ prior ideological positions. Together, these findings illustrate a previously overlooked consequence of descriptive representation and provide a framework for understanding when and why the parliamentary party influences manifesto formation. They show that diversity—or lack thereof—has important consequences for parties’ policy statements, and thus the overall quality of representation.

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... Previous literature suggests that environmental factors like public opinion, ideology, and organizational structure are the most important determinants of party priorities. Recently, several authors have contributed to this literature by demonstrating the significant role of descriptive representation, women in the party (Greene and O'Brien 2016;Kittilson 2011;O'Brien 2012). Gender quota laws are electoral laws or constitutional provisions requiring all parties to include a certain percentage of women in their party lists. ...
... Notably, Kittilson (2011) finds that the share of women and women's organizations in the party are associated with increased attention to social justice, but not welfare or education, in party platforms. More recently, Greene and O'Brien (2016) find that parties with greater shares of women are associated with increased diversity of issues in the manifesto, and tend to shift leftward. Informed by this literature, the main contribution of this study is to measure the effect of quotas, rather than gender, on party priorities. ...
... To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first study to find a direct effect of quota laws on party priorities. The results complement work that shows women in the party matter (Greene and O'Brien 2016;Kittilson 2011), suggesting that the imposition of a quota law itself can also have spillover effects on other policies. More research is needed to test the contagion mechanism proposed here, and the conditions under which party leaders respond to women's policy preferences. ...
Article
In light of increasing numbers of women in politics, extant research has examined the role of women in the parliamentary party on agenda-setting. This paper complements that literature by exploring the effect of a gendered institution theorized to promote both numbers of women and awareness of women’s interests: gender quota laws. I suggest that after a quota law, parties could have incentives to either reduce (backlash effect) or increase (salience effect) attention to women’s policy concerns. Using matching and regression methods with a panel data set of parties in advanced democracies, I find that parties in countries that implement a quota law devote more attention to social justice issues in their manifestos than similar parties in countries without a quota. Furthermore, the paper shows that this effect is driven entirely by the law itself. Contrary to expectations, quota laws are not associated with increases in women in my (short-term) sample; it is thus no surprise that no evidence of an indirect effect through numbers of women is found. I interpret the findings as evidence of quota contagion, whereby quotas cue party leaders to compete on gender equality issues.
... Media reports often address representation of women in their post-election summaries, but it is less clear how news reports use women's presence as members of parliament and in the party's leadership to evaluate the credibility of parties' claims. Gender likely acts as a useful heuristic for journalists as parties with greater representation are more likely to emphasize a range of issues in their electoral campaigns (Kittilson 2003;Greene and O'Brien 2016) and are potentially more likely to debate and pursue those policies upon entering office (Bäck et al. 2014). Linking research on women's representation and intra-party politics to the media's gaze, we propose that parties' messages will be most effective at converting the issues in their platforms to media attention when the composition of the party's leadership and parliamentary delegation signal that the party will credibly dedicate attention to those issues in office. ...
... We expect female party leadership to have a similar impact on parties' news topic coverage as the increased share of women MPs. Female leaders are likely to campaign on a broad set of issues to attract votes (Greene and O'Brien 2016), much like parties with a greater number of female MPs. This attention likely carries over to their broader political campaigns, in the legislature, or in government. ...
... Therefore, as the increased presence of women introduces alternate topics to the campaign, a more diverse public profile of a party is likely to diversify its issue coverage in the media as well. Indeed, recent scholarship offers empirical evidence that the total number of issues parties cover in their election manifestos increases as the share of women in their parliamentary delegation rises (Greene and O'Brien 2016). We theorize that because the news room relies, at least to a certain extent, on parties' campaign messages while covering elections, this increased issue diversity likely carries over to the media attention parties receive. ...
Article
Leaders and MPs serve as the party's public face. Their image casts a shadow in which observers interpret policy statements. We hypothesize that media cover and voters understand policy messages through the lens of prominent party members' characteristics. Easy-to-observe descriptive traits, such as gender or ethnicity, cue parties' policy priorities. Media are more likely to emphasize party messages on issues historically related to these groups when they are visible in the party's public image. We test hypotheses from our theory using data on prominent party members' descriptive characteristics, policy statements, and media coverage of statements from the European Election Studies. Data from the 1999, 2004 and 2009 European elections evidence support for our theory. Parties with more female representatives signal stronger emphasis on gendered issues in media reports. The results hold implications for our understanding of the ways in which parties deliver and voters receive campaign messages. This research offers an explanation for voters' limited knowledge of parties' policy positions; media reinforce existing gender stereotypes and voters' predispositions by selectively reporting policy statements.
... 18 Wängnerud 2000, 84. 19 But see Greene and O'Brien 2016;Kittilson 2011;O'Brien 2012;Schwindt-Bayer and Mishler 2005. 20 Phillips 1995. ...
... A crucial difference in empirical studies of the link between descriptive and substantive representation is the operationalization of substantive representation. Most scholars study bill introduction (Bratton 2005;Osborn 2012;Schwindt-Bayer 2006;Swers 2005), while others look at levels of participation by male and female parliamentarians in different debates (Catalano 2009;Celis 2006, see also Crisp et al. 2016), or the effects on the political agenda (Devlin and Elgie 2008;Greene and O'Brien 2016;O'Brien 2012), while again others analyze the actual presence of policies related to women's issues (Berkman and O'Connor 1993;Kittilson 2011). In the analysis below, I analyze party positions and compare those to changes in public opinion data for women and men. ...
... However, data availability is significantly more limited at the party level. Greene and O'Brien (2016) have recently collected data for a number of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and Appendix Table A7 replicates my analysis using their party-level data where available. The results confirm the findings reported below. ...
Article
This article explores (1) whether policy makers are equally responsive to the preferences of women and men and (2) whether the increased presence of women in parliament improves responsiveness to women’s preferences. Using a time-series cross-sectional analysis of 351 party shifts by sixty-eight different parties across twelve Western European countries, the study finds that parties respond to the preference shifts of women and men. However, parties are more responsive to the preference shifts among men than among women – a finding that is not affected by the share of female politicians in parliament. The findings question the implicit assumption that substantive political representation of women necessarily follows from their descriptive representation in legislatures.
... Inclusion on the manifesto thus simultaneously indicates the party's commitment to women and also represents an important step in the policy-making process. Indeed, a growing number of case studies examine claims related to women on parties' election manifestos (Campbell and Lovenduski 2005;Childs, Webb, and Marthaler 2010;Murray and Sénac 2014;Xydias 2013), and quantitative cross-national work explores women's influence on manifesto content more generally (Greene and Lü histe 2017;Greene and O'Brien 2016;Kittilson 2011). ...
... Parties' efforts to include women on their policy statements may be shaped by women's presence (or absence) from their parliamentary delegations. Increasing the percentage of seats held by female MPs both diversifies parties' platforms and pushes them leftward (Greene and O'Brien 2016). This is partly because female parliamentarians are more likely to prioritize women's equality and family issues (Esaiasson 2000;Wängnerud 2005). ...
Article
Parties are the key actors shaping women's representation in advanced parliamentary democracies. Based on traditional patterns of feminist organizing, conventional wisdom suggests that parties of the left are the strongest advocates for women. Despite the prevalence of this claim, a burgeoning body of work indicates that parties on the right can—and often do—seek to represent women. To address these competing narratives, this article offers the first large- N, party-level study of women's descriptive and substantive representation over place and time. The results suggest that party ideology continues to affect women's representation: right parties lag behind their left counterparts with respect to women's presence in elected office, and right and left parties address women differently on their platforms. At the same time, there is significant heterogeneity among right parties. Christian democrats, for example, are more likely than conservatives to adopt voluntary gender quotas and make policy claims on behalf of women. The traditional left-right distinction is thus too coarse to fully explain party behavior in these states.
... For example, we know that in advanced industrial democracies, women tend to be more to the left than men (Inglehart & Norris, 2000). And, within political parties, Greene and O'Brien (2016) find that as the percentage of women in the parliamentary party increases, the party becomes more left-leaning, even when controlling for prior ideological position. In a similar vein, Greene and Lühiste (2018) illustrate that the higher the level of female representation in a party's parliamentary delegation, the greater the media's attention to compassion-based issues relative to the same issue's coverage in the party's manifesto. ...
... For example, Kittilson (2011) has shown that greater women's representation in both the parliamentary delegation and party leadership committee is associated with a greater emphasis on social justice in the party program and with gender quotas. In addition, Greene and O'Brien (2016) have shown that increased women's representation is associated with greater diversity in party election platforms. ...
Article
en Studies show that women and girls consistently demonstrate higher levels of concern for the environment than men and boys. Separately, research also indicates that women officeholders pay particular attention to the issues prioritized by their female constituents. Interestingly, despite the consistency of the gender gap in attitudes to environmental issues the literature has paid scant attention to the role of women officeholders in the adoption of environmental policy. The goal of this paper was to start to address that lacuna. Using pooled cross‐sectional time series analyses of environmental standards in 18 Western parliamentary democracies (1990–2012), our initial findings indicate women officeholders are associated with the adoption of higher environmental standards. Abstract zh 女性官员对环境政策产生的作用 研究表明,女性和女孩对环境问题的关心一直高于男性和男孩。此外,研究还表明,女性官员对那些由女性选民所优先重视的问题予以特别关注。有趣的是,除去不同性别对环境问题所持态度的持续性差异,现有文献却很少关注女性官员在采纳环境政策一事上所产生的作用。本文目的旨在填补此研究空白。通过对1990‐2012年间18个西方民主国家的环境标准进行(共享式)跨部门时间序列分析,本文得出的初期结果表明,女性官员与“采纳更高的环境标准”有关。 Abstract es Los efectos de las mujeres oficinistas en la política ambiental los estudios muestran que las mujeres y las niñas demuestran consistentemente niveles más altos de preocupación por el medio ambiente que los hombres y los niños. Por separado, la investigación también indica que las mujeres que ocupan cargos públicos prestan especial atención a los temas priorizados por sus electoras. Curiosamente, a pesar de la consistencia de la brecha de género en las actitudes hacia los problemas ambientales, la literatura ha prestado poca atención al papel de las mujeres en la adopción de políticas ambientales. El objetivo de este trabajo es comenzar a abordar ese vacío. Usando análisis agrupados de series de tiempo de estándares ambientales en 18 democracias parlamentarias occidentales (1990‐2012), nuestros hallazgos iniciales indican que las mujeres en cargos públicos están asociadas con la adopción de estándares ambientales más altos.
... An increased number of political parties from more inclusive and competitive elections would also diversify the political and socio-economic backgrounds of the elected lawmakers. Their diverse backgrounds would also diversify the policy agenda and their input of policy information (Greene & O'Brien, 2016;Tam, 2017). In short, more political parties resulted from more inclusive and competitive elections would provide greater quantity of and more diversified policy-relevant information. ...
... These wider backgrounds lead to the production of more diverse policy agenda and vice-versa. For example, Greene & O'Brien (2016) found that more female lawmakers in the legislature would lead to a greater issue diversity of the policy agenda and more left-leaning policies. Tam (2017) found that female lawmakers and liberal lawmakers are more likely to represent women's interests. ...
Thesis
This thesis considers how political liberalisation, as a dynamic process, affects policy processes in authoritarian regimes. Prior studies observed either the bargaining process or the information exchange process but not both. These studies consider them as two distinct and competing theoretical perspectives. First, the bargaining perspective asserts that the process of political liberalisation, with the introduction of more inclusive and competitive elections, increases the bargaining costs and make policymaking more difficult. Second, political liberalisation increases the social and political freedom and it enhances information exchange that facilitates policymaking. However, these two processes contradict with each other and create a theoretical puzzle that requires a systematic theoretical and empirical investigation. Building on the punctuated equilibrium theory, this thesis offers a novel bargaining/information exchange hybrid theoretical model to explain policy processes during a period of political liberalisation. Rather than treating the two perspectives as competing explanations, this thesis integrates them by recognising the duality of the electoral system—it is a source of political bargaining as well as a source of information exchange. The liberalisation of the electoral system increases the likelihood of transforming the authoritarian regime from a one-party or one-party-dominant system to a multiparty system. An increased number of political parties in the policy processes intensifies the bargaining process but also increases the information exchange. As such, the changes in bargaining and information exchange processes happen simultaneously as regimes liberalise. The hybrid model contributes to advancement in the field with this refined way of thinking about policymaking during a period of political liberalisation. It captures the complexity and non-linearity of the social and political world. Using a novel and original time-series dataset of legislative bills of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, the analysis adopts the policy content coding system of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) to measure legislative attention from 1975 to 2016. Policy processes are measured by legislative speed (i.e., the duration of the legislative process), distribution of policy change (i.e., changes in policy contents in the legislative bills) and issue diversity of the policy agenda (i.e., the concentration of policymakers’ attention across different policy issues). Political liberalisation is measured by the degree of inclusive and competitive elections, while the number of political parties is measured by the effective number of political parties. This thesis uses stochastic process methods to measure distributions of policy change, determining whether policymaking is characterised by a pattern of mostly stable and occasional periods of rapid and radical policy change. Further, it uses time-series analysis and event history analysis to estimate the impact of the number of political parties on policy processes. This thesis has a number of important findings. First, an increase in the number of political parties brings in more information and greater bargaining costs. This effectively slows down the legislative process. Second, it finds that the distribution of policy change is punctuated—characterised by long periods of stasis but also a more frequent occurrence of radical changes—rather than incremental change in Hong Kong’s legislative agenda and it confirms the expectation of the punctuated equilibrium theory. However, as the regime liberalises, the distribution of policy change becomes less punctuated, meaning that there are more frequent and moderate policy adjustments. It suggests that a greater number of political parties facilitates policy change and can be explained by the information model. However, comparing Hong Kong’s distribution of policy change with other advanced democracies provides support for the bargaining model. These puzzling findings show a more inclusive bargaining/information exchange hybrid model is needed to explain policymaking in countries with different degrees of political liberalisation. Third, the study of issue diversity of the policy agenda shows an “inverted-U” curve as the number of political parties increases. It implies that autocrats pay more attention to a wider range of policy topics when the number of political parties increases from a low level whereas the attention to different policy topics shrinks when the number of political parties escalates to an extremely high number. The empirical evidence provides unambiguous support for the bargaining/information exchange hybrid model. Overall, this thesis builds on the punctuated equilibrium theory by offering a novel bargaining/information exchange hybrid model to understand policymaking and tests it systematically with new empirical evidence. It contributes to the understanding of policymaking in authoritarian regimes. It also provides an important insight into the duality of political and other social processes in comparative politics.<br/
... Greene and O'Brien 2016;Grose 2005;Höhmann 2019;Öhberg and Wängnerud 2013;Breunig and Schnatterer 2016;Gilens 2012;Mansbridge 2015;Minta 2009;Saalfeld and Bischof 2013) and place individual representatives and their incentives for substantive representation at the analytical center.We posit that substantive representation of disadvantaged groups' interests is not only a function of the number of group members in parliament or government (see, for example, Davidson-Schmich 2016;Hänni 2017;Krook and O'Brien 2010;Preuhs 2006); it also depends on the strategic choices that individual Members of Parliament (MPs) make during the course of their political careers. Given these individual choices, substantive representation of disadvantaged interests varies over time. ...
... constituents (Best and Vogel 2014). For example, Greene and O'Brien (2016) show that female representatives act as issue entrepreneurs and are able to address new issues. Collet (2008) shows that when campaigning, minority candidates consciously choose to maximize their chances by representing their minority while not offending other sections of the electorate. ...
Article
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Does enhanced descriptive representation lead to substantive representation? Legislators who share descriptive features with disadvantaged groups do not necessarily represent their group interests. Instead, Members of Parliament (MPs) strategically choose when to engage with the policy topic of their corresponding groups. MPs represent their respective group at the beginning of their career because it confers credibility when they have no legislative track record and few opportunities to demonstrate expertise. These group-specific efforts are replaced by other legislative activities at later stages of their careers. The authors apply this theoretical expectation across four disadvantaged groups – women, migrants, low social class and the young – and thereby offer a broad perspective on descriptive representation. Their sample consists of a unique data base that combines biographical information on German MPs with topic-coded parliamentary questions for the period 1998 to 2013. The study demonstrates the diminishing value of representing the disadvantaged across different types of MPs.
... A recent paper on Italian party middle elites indicates that with regard to the ideological positions of parties, women delegates tend to be more post-materialist than men (Bordandini and Mulè 2018). Others find that increasing female descriptive representation in parliament affects the party policy agenda in a number of ways (Espírito-Santo, Freire and Serra-Silver, 2020; Kittilson 2006Kittilson , 2011Greene and O'Brien 2016). It increases the diversity of issues in the election campaign and is associated with more left-leaning manifestos, even when parties' prior ideological positions are taken into account. ...
Article
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This article advances a new approach based on ‘varieties of capital’ to explain gendered upward mobility in political parties. Research on gender political advancement unduly neglects women delegates to national party congresses. Our work seeks to redress the imbalance by drawing on data gathered from 5,122 questionnaires issued to national party delegates at 20 national conventions that took place between 2004 and 2013 in Italy. To analyse the data we develop a new framework based on ‘varieties of capital’. Our approach builds on Bourdieu's three types of personal capital – economic, social and cultural – and interprets the findings borrowing analytical tools from recent feminist institutional theory, especially the concept of homosocial capital. Comparisons of male and female party delegates in terms of background and their political trajectories reveal the persistence of an uneven playing field, with gendered hierarchies in Italian political parties confirming an international pattern.
... We begin with the literature on party-level factors. Political parties prioritize some issues over others when they are in government, and this prioritization creates a set of expectations and a brand name for that party (Cox and McCubbins 2007;Egan 2013;Greene and O'Brien 2016). Voters who share those issue priorities will develop an identification with that brand, which leads them to vote for that party consistently (Green, Palmquist, and Schickler 2003). ...
Article
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In this paper, we explain the nomination of ethnic minority candidates for lower house elections. We argue that these nominations are explained by the incentives that different parties face in different districts. Center-left parties reap greater electoral rewards when they offer descriptive representation, and that they also experience fewer difficulties in recruiting ethnic minority candidates. Therefore we argue that center-left parties have a greater incentive and ability to make their nominations more responsive to district demographics. More specifically, our hypothesis is that district-level ethnic diversity will increase the probability that any party will nominate an ethnic minority candidate, but this increase will be greatest for center-left parties. We look at multiple elections in Australia, the UK, and the US, and find consistent evidence in favor of this hypothesis. Even when center-left and center-right parties are nominating similar overall numbers of ethnic minority candidates, center-left parties’ descriptive representation patterns are more closely connected to district demographics. We argue that this helps explain how descriptive representation effects political competition more broadly.
... More generally, women's attention to a wider range of societal issues may result in growing agenda diversity in legislatures, party manifestos and election campaigns as women participate more in the political life. Greene and O'Brien (2016), for instance, found that increasing women representation in legislatures leads to a larger scope of issues represented on party manifestos. A systematic comparison of legislative agenda diversity in similar countries with varying levels of women representation may prove useful in advancing our understanding of whether agenda diversity at the individual level translates into legislative agenda diversity. ...
Article
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en A growing body of research examines the role of information processing on decision making in a variety of organizational settings such as authoritarian and democratic governments, subnational organizations, and market systems. Although an increasing number of scholars point to the importance of cognitive capacities of individuals in explaining macrophenomena, scant attention has been devoted to how individual human beings process incoming information. Utilizing original datasets of parliamentary speeches and the biographies of 1,100 members of parliament (MPs) who served in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey between 2002 and 2011, I explore female–male differences in MPs’ issue attention in the parliament. Drawing together the literatures on political agenda setting, gender studies, and cognitive psychology, I argue that women’s higher potential for empathic response to societal issues (i.e., lower cognitive threshold of urgency for social problems) leads them to speak about a wider range of issues facing society and find strong support for this hypothesis. The conclusion considers potential implications of these findings. Abstract zh 越来越多的研究考察了信息处理在各种组织环境(如威权政治和民主政府,地方组织和市场体系)中的决策作用。虽然越来越多的学者指出个体认知能力在解释宏观现象中的重要性,但很少有人关注个体是如何处理他们所接收的信息的。本文通过使用在2002年至2011年期间土耳其大国民议会中任职的1100名议员(MPs)的议会演说和传记的原始数据集,探讨了议会议员关注的议题中所体现出的性别差异。综合了关于政治议程设置、性别研究和认知心理学方面的文献,本文认为女性有更大潜能对社会问题做出共情反应(即对社会问题所谓紧迫性的认知门槛更低),这使得她们会谈论范围更广泛的社会问题,且本文为这一假设找到了强有力的支撑。结论部分本文认真考虑了这些发现所带来的潜在影响。
... Their creation and publication are influenced by these preferences as well as other features, such as tactical considerations and pressures by the leadership (see, e.g. Greene and O'Brien, 2016). Furthermore, as of now, text analysis has not produced cross-nationally comparable data on intra-party heterogeneity at a larger scale. ...
Article
Quantitative research on party politics often has to assume that parties are unitary actors with homogeneous policy preferences simply because intra-party heterogeneity is difficult to measure. This article proposes a measure of preference heterogeneity based on surveys of party elites. We draw on Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS) data from 28 elections in 21 developed democracies to quantify intra-party heterogeneity and validate this measure. The usefulness of the measure is demonstrated by studying the effects of intra-party-heterogeneity on issue salience. We find support for the hypothesis that heterogeneity regarding a policy issue tends to be negatively associated with the emphasis a party places on that issue by regressing measures of issue salience from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey and the Manifesto Project on our CCS measure of heterogeneity. Problems of elite surveys notwithstanding, drawing on this data source seems a promising way to overcome the unitary party assumption.
... Earlier research also suggests that parliamentary work of MPs should not only be considered through a pure electoral lens: MPs can also have an impact on parties' election campaigns (e.g. Greene & O'Brien, 2016) or even on the distribution of portfolios to groups within parties (Ceron, 2012). As our analysis controlled for several additional variables, however, it is not very likely that the electoral effect that we found is the result of other factors than the quality of the parliamentary work. ...
Article
Electoral systems across Europe increasingly invite candidates to build up a personal reputation to earn votes. In this article, we investigate whether parliamentary work can be considered as a personal vote-earning attribute for incumbent MPs based on data of the 2014 elections in Belgium. The results show that when parliamentary work is operationalised in a narrow way (i.e. as the number of bills and the number of oral and written questions of an MP), this has no influence on the amount of preferential votes. When parliamentary work is defined in a broader way (i.e. also including other aspects of the legislative and control function of MPs), parliamentary work has a significant positive effect for MPs from opposition parties. This supports the claim that the number of legislative and control activities is not sufficient to measure the impact of parliamentary work on preferential votes, but that also other aspects of the work should be taken into account.
... Unfortunately, the question of whether green parties follow through with their ideological commitment to women's equality has not yet been fully addressed. Some scholars have included green parties within their larger comparisons of parties (Kittilson 2011;Childs and Kittilson 2016;Greene and O'Brien 2016;Keith and Verge 2018;O'Brien 2018), but they are often only included as a part of a "party family" or in comparison to other left parties and not directly assessed for their own sake on a large scale. Additionally, the literature on the internal organization of green parties also suggests a commitment to women's equality, but it has not yet developed fully (Norris and Lovenduski 1995;Richardson and Rootes 1995;Kittilson 2011;Carter 2013;Keith and Verge 2018). ...
Article
Scholars of comparative politics have increasingly turned to parties to explain the variation in women's representation. However, the literature has not fully considered that green parties may provide unique insight into women's representation due to their longstanding ideological attachment to feminism. To understand the question of women's representation in green parties, this analysis examines green parties in 20 European countries. Relying on data from party websites and quotaproject.org, the following categories were examined: the inclusion of women in leadership positions, the inclusion of enforced gender quotas in party structure, the inclusion of women's party member organizations, the structure of recruitment processes, and the content of party platforms. The results show that European green parties maintain a higher level of commitment to gender equality than their individual parliaments. This piece contributes to the growing literature on green parties by examining the ideological connection between green parties and feminism, as well as studying a larger cross-section of green parties than previous studies.
... Perhaps most intuitively, women may try to work within their political parties in order to advocate for the revision of a specific party position. Additionally, women MPs may push for women's rights by putting new issues on the legislative agenda for which their parties do not yet have a fixed position (Greene and O'Brien 2016). In these ways, women can try to shape policy without having to rebel. ...
Article
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Are men and women legislators equally loyal to their parties? We theorize that parties select candidates based on gendered criteria, leading to the (s)election of more disciplined women. Moreover, we argue that gendered expectations about proper behavior limit women legislators’ ability to act independently from their parties. Using surveys from over 800 parliamentarians across 17 African legislatures, we find that women report significantly higher levels of party discipline than do their men copartisans. From this survey data and new legislative speech data, we also find support for our proposed causal mechanisms. Further, we find that among women parliamentarians, party discipline is negatively correlated with the prioritization of womens rights. A qualitative case study of the Namibian Parliament illustrates our findings. We discuss the implications of our results for women’s legislative effectiveness, for the substantive representation of women’s interests in policy making, and for the continued democratization of emerging party systems.
... 2018) and the policy preferences of parties (Greene and O'Brien, 2016). The extent of women's descriptive representation in political institutions raises important, but understudied, implications for political decision-making and policy outcomes. ...
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Women are underrepresented within political institutions, which can (negatively) impact policy outcomes. We examine women’s descriptive representation as politically appointed staff within ministerial offices. Politically appointed staff are now institutionalised into the policy process, so who they are is important. To date, collecting systematic data on political staff has proved impossible. However, for the first time we demonstrate how to build a systematic data set of this previously unobservable population. We use Australian Ministerial Directories (telephone records) from 1979 to 2010 (a method that can notionally be replicated in advanced democratic jurisdictions), to examine political advising careers in a similar manner as elected political elites. We find that work in political offices is divided on gender lines: men undertake more policy work, begin and end their careers in higher status roles and experience greater career progression than women. We find evidence that this negatively impacts women’s representation and their later career paths into parliament.
... Parties emphasize topics to appear responsive (Sigelman andBuell 2004, Spoon andKlüver 2014). Past government experience, economic conditions and the diversity of their parliamentary delegation and leadership all influence the breadth of issues in parties' campaigns (Greene 2016, Greene andO'Brien 2016). ...
Article
Resources for foreign aid come under attack when parties that care little for international affairs come to power. Internationally focused parties of the left and right, however, prefer to use aid as a tool to pursue their foreign policy goals. Yet varying goals based on left-right ideology differentiate the way donors use foreign aid. We leverage sector aid to test hypotheses from our Partisan Theory of Aid Allocation and find support for the idea that domestic political preferences affect foreign aid behavior. Left-internationalist governments increase disaster aid, while parochial counterparts cut spending on budget assistance and aid that bolsters recipients' trade viability. Conservative governments favor trade-boosting aid. We find consistent, nuanced, evidence for our perspective from a series of Error Correction Models and extensive robustness checks. By connecting theories of foreign aid to domestic politics, our approach links prominent, but often disconnected, fields of political research and raises important questions for policymakers interested in furthering the efficacy of development aid.
... This process allows us to examine not just which cities are engaged in climate change discussions, but also the content, focus, and timing of these discussions. We build on an innovative body of scholarship that uses text documents to evaluate the stances of political actors and institutions (e.g., Grimmer and Stewart 2013, King et al. 2013, Greene and O'Brien 2016. Which factors are associated with higher levels of climate-related discussions? ...
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Cities in the USA engage in action on climate change, even as the federal government remains resistant to comprehensive climate policy. While experts generally agree that local level adaptation and mitigation policies are critical to avoiding the worst climate impacts, the degree to which cities communicate climate change issues to their constituents has yet to be fully explored. In this article, we evaluate how US cities communicate climate change-related issues, problems, and policies. We use a computer-assisted approach to evaluate climate change efforts by cities by examining the full text of press releases of 82 large cities in the USA. We first identify who discusses climate change, finding that many large cities in the USA address climate change in their public communication. Second, we examine the content of these discussions. Many cities discuss weather-related concerns in conjunction with broad collaborative efforts to address global warming, while city-based policy discussions focus more on energy and transportation efforts. Third, we evaluate the local factors associated with these discussions. We find that the city’s climate vulnerability is particularly influential in shaping the level and timing of climatic communication.
... These differences are to a large degree mirrored in the public (Thomas, 1994;Wängnerud, 2000;Campbell et al., 2010). Parties with more women MPs also address greater sets of issues and become more left-leaning (Greene and O'Brien, 2016). On the other hand, parliaments with high numbers of women are neither necessarily nor exclusively 'gender-sensitive parliaments' (Wängnerud, 2015). ...
Article
Does public policy in Europe reflect women’s preferences equally well as men’s? This study compares the opinions of women and men with concrete policy on a set of 20 issues across a diverse range of policy areas in 31 European countries. It shows that the majorities of men and women frequently prefer the same policy. However, when they disagree, men’s preferences are more likely to be represented. Neither the proportion of women in parliament nor the left–right orientation of the government explains variation in women’s policy representation. Instead, a higher number of parliamentary parties increase the likelihood that policy reflects women’s views. This effect does not seem to be driven by left-libertarian politics or Green parties, even though women’s stronger support for ‘new politics’ issues is an important source of disagreement between men and women.
... Several other authors have aimed to investigate differences between female and male MPs' attitudes that are not directly related to gender issues. For example, women are often pictured as more liberal (Evans, 2005;Swers, 2002) and more left-leaning (Greene and O'Brien, 2016) than men. In particular, they are more supportive of the view that the government should provide services and assistance to those who are less fortunate (Conway et al., 1997: 37), whether they are children (Jones, 1997) or seniors (Giles-Sims et al., 2012). ...
Article
Although the presence of women has been increasing in several parliaments around the world, we still do not know much about the consequences that their presence has for policy representation. Relying on a rich comparative dataset on prospective MPs’ policy preferences in 12 countries and 87 political parties collected between 2006 and 2012 within the Comparative Candidates Survey, this article aims to understand how political parties interplay with prospective MPs’ sex to affect the latter’s policy preferences. Our results show that the descriptive representation of women makes a difference for policy representation, (i) mainly (though not only) when issues that particularly affect women are at stake and (ii) only concerning issues around which political parties do not yet have settled positions (i.e. uncrystallized issues). There are therefore empirical grounds to support an imposed representation of minority groups to deal with issues that are new on the political agenda.
... Due to this central role in the internal organization of the parliament, MPs are in more frequent contact with colleagues from their own PPG (e.g. in the weekly meetings of the PPG's working groups), they usually vote together (Sieberer 2006), and -most importantly -also share similar political norms and ideologies with their party colleagues. Thus, the influence of female MPs on male MPs in the same PPG is much stronger than that of the overall proportion of women in the parliament (see Greene and O'Brien 2016). ...
Article
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This paper analyzes the conditions affecting male Members of Parliaments' (MPs) proclivity for representing women's interests. It particularly explores whether the presence of female MPs has an effect on men's parliamentary behavior. Three contrasting effects are discussed in the literature: (1) A spillover effect which postulates that men will become more likely to act on behalf of women if the number of female MPs increases, (2) a group-threat effect which creates a hostile backlash among male MPs, or (3) a specialization effect which makes male MPs less likely to represent women because this is typically seen as a function that should be fulfilled by female MPs. Empirically, this paper analyzes the representation of women's issues in parliamentary questions tabled in the German Bundestag (1998-2013) by using automated content analysis. The results support the specialization hypothesis and show that male MPs reduce their intensity of women's representation if the proportion of female MPs is high.
... The distribution of preferences within French and German parties, moreover, increases when they are in government and the party expects to be punished by voters for the economy (Greene and Haber 2016). Parties with parliamentary delegations from diverse backgrounds write more diversified platforms (Greene and O'Brien 2016) and their MPs address a greater range of issues in parliament (Bäck, Debus, and Müller 2014). Evidence of disagreement within Scottish parties, therefore, is not unique. ...
Article
Scotland’s future within the European Union (EU) played a prominent role in the 2014 independence referendum. The story goes that latent supporters of independence voted to stay within the UK to maintain EU access. Defeated, Scottish leaders declared the referendum a once-in-a-life-time event only repeated if conditions substantially changed. With the UK now facing a chaotic exit from the EU, proponents of Scottish independence have suggested that a second referendum may occur after Brexit negotiations are completed. Faced with a consensus among Scottish party leaders in supporting EU membership, those hoping for a second independence referendum, we argue, looked to alternate sources of information that saw Brexit as an opportunity to create the conditions that would spur a second referendum. Using panel data from the British Election Study, we examine whether Scottish voters voted tactically to leave the EU. We argue that Scottish National Party voters were likely to interpret statements on the conditions for a second independence referendum as an implicit signal to vote “Leave.” The results have important implications for the role of referendums in representative democracy, strategic voting, and the importance of intra-party division on individual vote choices.
... The greater responsiveness of female legislators to women would be consistent with findings from the observational literature on gender and politics, which has shown a link between descriptive and substantive representation. The election of female legislators has promoted women's rights, women-friendly policies, and women political participation in the US (Carroll 2001, Swers 2002, Europe (Diaz 2005, Greene andO'Brien 2016) and Latin America (Desposato andNorrander 2008, Schwindt-Bayer 2010). If female legislators are intrinsically motivated to promote women's interests, they should be especially responsive to women, regardless of electoral considerations. ...
Preprint
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Are elected officials more responsive to men than women inquiring about access to government services? Women face discrimination in many realms of politics, but evidence is limited on whether such discrimination extends to interactions between women and elected officials. In recent years, several field experiments have examined public officials' responsiveness. The majority focused on racial bias in the United States, while the few experiments outside the US were usually single-country studies. We explore gender bias with the first large-scale audit experiment in 5 countries in Europe (). A citizen alias whose gender is randomized contacts members of parliament about unemployment benefits or healthcare services. The results are surprising. Legislators respond significantly more to women (+3% points), especially in Europe (+4.3% points). In Europe, female legislators in particular reply substantially more to women (+8.4% points).
... Besides diversifying policy and legislative agendas (Greene and O'Brien 2016), women speaking about women's issues enhances women's representation and influence (Bratton and Haynie 1999;Herrnson, Lay, and Stokes 2003;Pearson and Dancey 2011a). This includes legislation on gender-based violence, as illustrated by the toughening of sentences in the Egyptian parliament for performing female genital mutilation (Abdelgawad and Hassan 2019). ...
Article
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Scholars have pinpointed that women's underrepresentation in peacemaking results in gendered outcomes that do not address women's needs and interests. Despite recent increased representation at the negotiating table, women still have a limited influence on peacemaking outcomes. We propose that differences in female and male speeches reflected in the gendered patterns in discourse during peacemaking explain how women's influence is curtailed. We examine women's speaking behavior in transitional justice debates in the post-conflict Balkans. Applying multimethod quantitative text analysis to over half a million words in multiple languages, we analyze structural and thematic speech patterns. We find that men's domination of turn-taking and the absence of topics reflecting women's needs and interests lead to a gendered outcome. The sequences of men talking after men are longer than those of women talking after women, which restricts women's deliberative space and opportunities to develop and sustain arguments that reflect their concerns. We find no evidence that women's limited influence is driven by lower deliberative quality of their speeches. This study of gendered dynamics at the microlevel of discourse identifies a novel dimension of male domination during peacemaking.
... The greater responsiveness of female legislators to women would be consistent with findings from the observational literature on gender and politics, which has shown a link between descriptive and substantive representation. The election of female legislators has promoted women's rights, women-friendly policies, and women political participation in the USA (Carroll 2001;Swers 2002), Europe (Diaz 2005;Greene and O'Brien 2016) and Latin America (Desposato and Norrander 2009;Schwindt-Bayer 2010). If female legislators are intrinsically motivated to promote women's interests, they should be especially responsive to women, regardless of electoral considerations. ...
Article
Are elected officials more responsive to men than women inquiring about access to government services? Women face discrimination in many realms of politics, but evidence is limited on whether such discrimination extends to interactions between women and elected officials. In recent years, several field experiments have examined public officials’ responsiveness. The majority focused on racial bias in the USA, while the few experiments outside the USA were usually single-country studies. We explore gender bias with the first large-scale audit experiment in five countries in Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Netherlands) and six in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay). A citizen alias whose gender is randomized contacts members of parliament about unemployment benefits or healthcare services. The results are surprising. Legislators respond significantly more to women (+3% points), especially in Europe (+4.3% points). In Europe, female legislators in particular reply substantially more to women (+8.4% points).
... The gendered pattern of political speech diversifies policy and legislative agendas (Greene and O'Brien, 2016). At the same time, women speaking about women's issues enhances women's representation and influence (Pearson and Dancey, 2011a;Herrnson et al., 2003;Bratton and Haynie, 1999). ...
Thesis
The essays in this thesis explore diverse manifestations and different aspects of political text. The two main contributions on the methodological side are bringing forward novel data on political actors who were overlooked by the existing literature and application of new approaches in text analysis to address substantive questions about them. On the theoretical side this thesis contributes to the literatures on lobbying, government transparency, post-conflict studies and gender in politics. In the first paper on interest groups in the UK I argue that contrary to much of the theoretical and empirical literature mechanisms of attaining access to government in pluralist systems critically depend on the presence of limits on campaign spending. When such limits exist, political candidates invest few resources in fund-raising and, thus, most organizations make only very few if any political donations. I collect and analyse transparency data on government department meetings and show that economic importance is one of the mechanisms that can explain variation in the level of access attained by different groups. Furthermore, I show that Brexit had a diminishing effect on this relationship between economic importance and the level of access. I also study the reported purpose of meetings and, using dynamic topic models, show the temporary shifts in policy agenda during this period. The second paper argues that civil society in post-conflict settings is capable of high-quality deliberation and, while differing in their focus, both male and female can deliver arguments pertaining to the interests of broader societal groups. Using the transcripts of civil society public consultation meetings across former Yugoslavia I show that the lack of gender-sensitive transitional justice instruments could stem not from the lack of women’s 3 physical or verbal participation, but from the dynamic of speech enclaves and topical focus on different aspects of transitional justice process between genders. And, finally, the third paper maps the challenges that lie ahead with the proliferation of research that relies on multiple datasets. In a simulation study I show that, when the linking information is limited to text, the noise can potential occur at different levels and is often hard to anticipate in practice. Thus, the choice of record linkage requires balancing between these different scenarios. Taken together, the papers in this thesis advance the field of “text as data” and contribute to our understanding of multiple political phenomena.
... If a party wanted to appear more right-of-center, it could reduce the focus of its agenda that addresses welfare protection and emphasise its previous support for stricter law-and-order policies. Relatedly, when a parliamentary delegation has a greater percentage of women, while it does not empirically shift to addressing a greater number of issues, it more broadly emphasizes existing issues in its manifesto and is concomitantly associated with more left-leaning positions (Greene and O'Brien 2016). A party could also increase emphasis on a variety of new issues so as to blur its position, accommodating existing party factions and strategically attracting voters with different viewpoints (Alonso et al. 2015). ...
Article
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Extant research has focused on the consequences of positional issue shifts that parties associate with their campaigns. Less attention has been paid to the consequences of the breadth of these issue agendas, which we demonstrate is a fruitful avenue for future research. Our analysis compares the effects of “appealing broadly” when employed by mainstream-left and mainstream-right parties and argues that centre-right parties can gain votes by employing this strategy. In contrast, we show that this “broad appeal” strategy is not successful for the mainstream-left in advanced parliamentary democracies. Additional analysis suggests that when controlling for issue diversity, position or salience shifts are not significant predictors of electoral support for centre-right parties. These findings contribute to the literature on party competition, issue competition and ownership, and the advantaged position of contemporary centre-right parties.
... Furthermore, when parties hold electorally unfavorable or ideologically distant preferences on the most important dimension of conflict they act as entrepreneurs by discussing new topics to attract electoral support (De Vries and Hobolt 2012;Hobolt and De Vries 2015). Parties with greater internal diversity also increase the breadth of issues they address (Greene and O'Brien 2016). Although voters allow parties greater leeway to change positions on certain issues (Tavits 2007), evidence suggests that emphasizing too many tangential topics may lead to electoral costs. ...
Article
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Historical policy reputations influence voters' perceptions of parties' electoral campaigns. In the face of their recent experiences in office, government parties' thoughtfully crafted electoral messages likely compete for voters' attention with a wealth of broader information about the government's policy activities and priorities. For their message to be heard, incumbent parties must offer a focused policy message that draws voters' attention to the issues they most prioritize. Considering the issue scope of parties' electoral messages, I hypothesize that incumbency status determines the effect issue appeals have on the votes parties receive. Opposition parties may profit from including more issues, but incumbent parties' policy reputations limit the potential benefits from diverse appeals. Using evidence from 25 OECD countries over a 60 year period, I find that parties' incumbent status conditions the effect of issue diversity on parties' aggregate electoral success. Voters reward incumbents for focusing their platforms, but reward opposition parties for diverse appeals. The results for incumbent parties are robust to extensive sensitivity analyses. The theory and evidence broadly suggest that incumbent parties with more focused policy messages can, at least partially, overcome the weight of their past policy reputations.
Article
Collaboration plays a key role in crafting good public policy. We use a novel data set of over 140,000 pieces of legislation considered in US state legislatures in 2015 to examine the factors associated with women's collaboration with each other. We articulate a theory that women's collaboration arises from opportunity structures, dictated by an interaction of individual and institutional characteristics. Examining the effect of a combination of characteristics, we find support for an interactive view of institutions, where women's caucuses accelerate collaboration in Democratic-controlled bodies and as the share of women increases. Collaboration between women also continues in the face of increased polarization in the presence of a caucus, but not absent one. Our findings speak to the long-term consequences of electing women to political office, the importance of institutions and organizations in shaping legislative behavior, and the institutionalization of gender in politics.
Article
Previous research suggests that political parties learn from and emulate the successful election strategies of governing parties in other countries. But what explains variation in the degree of influence that governing parties have on their foreign counterparts? We argue that clarity of responsibility within government, or the concentration of executive responsibility in the hands of a dominant governing party, allows parties to learn from the most obviously electorally successful incumbents. It therefore enhances the cross-national diffusion of party programs. To test this expectation, we analyze parties’ policy positions in twenty-six established democracies since 1977. Our results indicate that parties disproportionately learn from and emulate dominant, high-clarity foreign incumbents. This finding contributes to a better understanding of the political consequences of government clarity and sheds new light on the heuristics that engender party-policy diffusion by demonstrating that the most visible foreign incumbents, whose platforms have yielded concentrated power in office, influence party politics “at home.”
Article
Not all pieces of legislation introduced for consideration are equally likely to be successful. The characteristics of legislation’s cosponsors can influence bill passage rates. Despite facing marginalization in legislative bodies and more electoral vulnerability, women are effective lawmakers. We argue that one way by which women overcome marginalization and gendered expectations of performance is bill success from legislation cosponsored with other women. Testing this expectation on bills (140,000+) introduced in U.S. state legislatures in forty states in 2015, we find increased bill success from women’s cosponsorship with each other and women from the other party. Using variation in the share of women in legislative chambers and in legislative leadership, we find evidence to suggest that women’s success emerges both from marginalization and gendered opportunities.
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This article considers how autocrats decide to expand or narrow the issue diversity of their policy agenda during a period of political liberalization. Prior studies have two competing perspectives. First, political liberalization increases the social and political freedom that enhances information exchange, and thus expands issue diversity. Second, political liberalization decreases government's control of the legislature and thus narrows the issue diversity. This article offers a novel theoretical perspective by combining these two countervailing theories. It predicts a diminishing marginal benefit of information exchange and an increasing marginal bargaining cost. As such, this article argues that issue diversity follows a negative quadratic (inverted‐U) relationship as the regimes liberalize. The analysis of a new and unique dataset of Hong Kong's legislative agenda (1975 to 2016) offers support for this theory. This study contributes to our knowledge of policymaking in authoritarian regimes and the theory of information processing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Do female leaders affect voters' perceptions of political parties' placement on the left-right spectrum? Using public opinion data on 269 parties in 35 countries between 1976 and 2016, I show that female-led parties are perceived as more moderate than male-led organizations, even when accounting for voters' prior beliefs about the party and the organization's stated policy positions. I then demonstrate that these results cannot be explained by the policy platforms authored by male- and female-led parties. The electoral manifestos produced by female-headed organizations are neither more left- leaning nor more moderate than those authored under male leaders. Together, these results provide important insights concerning citizens' (mis)perceptions of parties' ideological positions, party leaders' effects on voters behavior, the importance of gender stereotypes in politics, and the policy consequences of women's increased access to power.
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Recent publications argue that the traditional gender gap in voting has decreased or reversed in many democracies. However, this decrease may apply only to some types of elections. Building on prior studies, this article hypothesizes that although women participate at the same or higher rates than men in national elections, they participate less in supranational elections. The authors investigate this possibility empirically by analyzing the evolution of the gender gap in voter turnout in elections to the European Parliament (EP). The article makes three important contributions. First, it shows the presence and stability of the traditional gender gap in EP elections. Secondly, it finds that gender differences in political interest are the main source of this gender gap. Thirdly, these gender differences in political interest are, in turn, context dependent. They are strongly associated with cultural gender differences, which are captured through differences in boys’ and girls’ maths scores.
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This article highlights the electoral effects of holding salient portfolios within a coalition government. For voters, holding ministries can be seen as a symbol of a party’s success within the coalition. As a voting heuristic, parties not controlling the portfolios on issues important to their platforms signal their failure to achieve these goals. Following this perspective, we hypothesize that the difference between coalition parties that hold salient portfolios and those that do not partially predicts the extent of the electoral cost of coalition participation. Using a data set that covers 11 European parliamentary democracies between 1966 and 2002, we show that for junior coalition partners there is an electoral reward for holding their most salient portfolio. There is also an electoral benefit for a junior partner to hold a larger number of portfolios if they do not control their most salient portfolio. Conversely, holding their most salient portfolio and a larger number of additional ministries results in greater electoral losses in the subsequent parliamentary election. These results indicate that parties’ success at negotiating for their policy priorities in coalition governments holds consequences for their future electoral success.
Article
Despite the fact that female political participation has been steadily growing over time, women’s representation in politics is substantially lower than their proportion in society. In this paper, we investigate the determinants of women’s representation using a GMM system estimation to address the possible endogeneity. We employ a unique dataset that covers data for 130 countries from 1972 to 2005 in 7 different geographical regions to estimate a dynamic model for women’s representation and calculate each region’s steady state. In general, we find that the steady state values are above each region’s current percentage of women in parliament; however, without changing other variables, no region significantly increases the percentage of women in parliament. Moreover, we find that 66 to 87% of the gap between each region’s steady state with Scandinavia is explained by female secondary education enrollment, labor force participation, and political and economic rights.
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Religious leaders and congregants alike report high levels of political discussions in their churches. Yet, direct observations of political topics in a wide set of religious settings are rare. We examine the nature of political speech by clergy with a novel dataset of over 110,000 sermons. Using a computational text analysis approach and multiple forms of validation, we find political content in more than a third of religious sermons and that seven of 10 pastors discuss political topics at some point. Common topics include the economy, war, homosexuality, welfare, and abortion. We then use a geographic data to link the sermons to demographic and political information around the church and to information about the church and pastor to evaluate the variation of political content in sermons. We find that most pastors—across location and denomination—engage around political topics, confirming the intertwined nature of religion and politics in the United States.
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Previous research reports that parties in established European democracies learn from and emulate the successful election strategies of foreign incumbents, i.e., successful parties are influential abroad. We theorize that—in addition to incumbency (or success)—exchange takes place through transnational party alliances in the European Union. Relying on party manifesto data and spatial econometric analyses, we show that belonging to the same European Parliament (EP) party group enhances learning and emulation processes between national political parties. Estimated short- and long-term effects are approximately two and three times greater when foreign incumbents are in the same EP party group compared to other foreign incumbents. Our results have implications for our understanding of how transnational party groups influence national parties’ policy positions.
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Does the representation of women in cabinet and party leadership positions affect whether governments are more or less likely to fulfill the policy promises they make during election campaigns? This research note studies the effects of women's descriptive representation in cabinet and party leadership on policymaking by analyzing the pledge fulfillment of parties in 10 European countries, the United States, and Canada. The empirical analysis suggests that governing parties are more likely to fulfill their election promises when levels of women's representation are higher. The results have implications for our understanding of the descriptive and substantive representation of women, as well as for party competition and policymaking more broadly.
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This article investigates how the sex of party heads impacts party positions and uncovers that parties led by a woman modify their stances on sociocultural but not economic debates. I argue that this pattern is a consequence of dissimilar gender gaps in policy preferences across the two ideological dimensions at the elite level. The empirical evidence, based on data for nineteen developed democracies around the world between 1995 and 2018, reveals that parties led by a woman tend to emphasize green, alternative, and libertarian issues. In particular, anti‐growth, environmental protection, and freedom and human rights become more prominent elements of party manifestos under women's leadership. Overall, these findings stress the importance of critical actors and the conditions under which the presence of women in political offices translates into responsiveness towards female citizens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Scotland’s future within the European Union (EU) played a prominent role in the 2014 independence referendum. The story goes that latent supporters of independence voted to stay within the UK to maintain EU access. Defeated, Scottish leaders declared the referendum a once-in-a-life-time event only repeated if conditions substantially changed. With the UK now facing a chaotic exit from the EU, proponents of Scottish independence have suggested that a second referendum may occur after Brexit negotiations are completed. Faced with a consensus among Scottish party leaders in supporting EU membership, those hoping for a second independence referendum, we argue, looked to alternate sources of information that saw Brexit as an opportunity to create the conditions that would spur a second referendum. Using panel data from the British Election Study, we examine whether Scottish voters voted tactically to leave the EU. We argue that Scottish National Party voters were likely to interpret statements on the conditions for a second independence referendum as an implicit signal to vote “Leave.” The results have important implications for the role of referendums in representative democracy, strategic voting, and the importance of intra-party division on individual vote choices.
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Though more than 100 countries have adopted gender quotas, the effects of these reforms on women's political leadership are largely unknown. We exploit a natural experiment—a 50–50 quota imposed by the national board of the Swedish Social Democratic Party on 290 municipal branches—to examine quotas’ influence on women's selection to, and survival in, top political posts. We find that those municipalities where the quota had a larger impact became more likely to select (but not reappoint) female leaders. Extending this analysis, we show that the quota increased the number of women perceived as qualified for these positions. Our findings support the notion that quotas can have an acceleration effect on women's representation in leadership positions, particularly when they augment the pool of female candidates for these posts. These results help dispel the myth that quotas trade short-term gains in women's descriptive representation for long-term exclusion from political power.
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Parties campaign on a range of topics to attract diverse support. Little research, however, looks at why parties narrow or expand the scope of their campaign or shift attention across issues. Focusing only on a single dimension or topic may lead scholars to miss-estimate the magnitude of the effect of parties’ experiences in government or economic context. I propose that electoral conditions influence the scope of parties' manifestos. I test hypotheses using a measure of issue diversity: the Effective Number of Manifesto Issues (ENMI). Based on analysis of 1662 manifestos in 24 OECD countries from 1951 to 2010, the results support the theory. Government parties have higher ENMI. Opposition parties and governments expecting a reward for the economy limit their issue appeals. Tests of the underlying mechanism using data on issue dimensions and policy data provide additional support. These findings have important implications for the study of election strategy and democratic accountability.
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Do parties listen to their voters? We address this important question by moving beyond position congruence to explore whether parties respond to the issue priorities of voters. We argue that political parties respond to voters in their election manifestos, but that their responsiveness varies across different party types, namely that large parties are more responsive to voters’ policy priorities while government parties listen less to voters’ issue demands. Additionally, we expect that niche parties are not generally more responsive to voter demands, but that they are more responsive to the concerns of their supporters in their owned issue areas. To test our theoretical expectations, we combine data from the Comparative Manifestos Project with data on the policy priorities of voters from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and various national election studies across 18 European democracies in 63 elections from 1972 until 2011. Our findings have important implications for understanding political representation and democratic linkage.
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This study addresses the dynamics of the issue space in multiparty systems by examining to what extent, and under what conditions, parties respond to the issue ownership of other parties on the green issue. To understand why some issues become part and parcel of the political agenda in multiparty systems, it is crucial not only to examine the strategies of issue entrepreneurs, but also the responses of other parties. It is argued that the extent to which other parties respond to, rather than ignore, the issue mobilisation of green parties depends on two factors: how much of an electoral threat the green party poses to a specific party; and the extent to which the political and economic context makes the green issue a potential vote winner. To analyse the evolution of the green issue, a time-series cross-section analysis is conducted using data from the Comparative Manifestos Project for 19 West European countries from 1980–2010. The findings have important implications for understanding issue evolution in multiparty systems and how and why the dynamics of party competition on the green issue vary across time and space.
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What motivates parties to change their positions? Earlier studies demonstrate that parties change their position in response to environmental incentives, such as voter shifts. Yet, this work also suggests that parties differ in their responses. What accounts for this variation? We argue and empirically substantiate that differences in party organization explain the divergent responses of parties to environmental incentives. By means of a pooled time-series analysis of 55 parties in 10 European democracies between 1977 and 2003, this study demonstrates how the party organizational balance-of-power between party activists and party leaders conditions the extent to which environmental incentives (mean voter change, party voter change, and office exclusion) drive party-position change. The study’s findings have important implications for our understanding of parties’ electoral strategies as well as for models of representation.
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This study examines postwar patterns in macroeconomic policies and outcomes associated with left-and right-wing governments in capitalist democracies. It argues that the objective economic interests as well as the subjective preferences of lower income and occupational status groups are best served by a relatively low unemployment-high inflation macroeconomic configuration, whereas a comparatively high unemployment-low inflation configuration is compatible with the interests and preferences of upper income and occupational status groups. Highly aggregated data on unemployment and inflation outcomes in relation to the political orientation of governments in 12 West European and North American nations are analyzed revealing a low unemployment-high inflation configuration in nations regularly governed by the Left and a high unemployment-low inflation pattern in political systems dominated by center and rightist parties. Finally, time-series analyses of quarterly postwar unemployment data for the United States and Great Britain suggests that the unemployment rate has been driven downward by Democratic and Labour administrations and upward by Republican and Conservative governments. The general conclusion is that governments pursue macroeconomic policies broadly in accordance with the objective economic interests and subjective preferences of their class-defined core political constituencies.
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We build on previous theories of junior minister allocation and coalition oversight by incorporating a novel theory of strategic changes in the issues covered in party manifestos. We argue that parties use junior ministerial appointments to oversee their coalition partners on portfolios that correspond to issues emphasized by the parties’ activists when the coalition partner’s preferences deviate from the party’s. The findings, based on a data set of more than 2800 party-portfolio dyads in 10 countries, show significant support for these expectations. We find that party leaders who successfully negotiate for junior ministers to particular portfolios are most concerned about checking ideologically contentious coalition partners in areas of concern to activists. The results also illustrate the usefulness of our dyadic approach for the study of junior minister allocation.
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A positive relationship between economic performance and support for incumbents is routinely taken as evidence that elections work for accountability. Recent investigations into this relationship have examined just how signals from the economy translate into popular support. However, neither selection models nor sanctioning models explicitly incorporate the actions of political elites. This article advances a strategic parties model of economic voting. Political incumbents have incentives to adjust their policy positions in response to economic conditions. When parties advocate distinct positions on economic issues, elections can be understood in terms of economic conditions. But when party positions converge, the quality of economic information declines. Incumbents can thus improve their chances of avoiding blame for a poor economy—or of claiming credit for a good one—by adjusting positions in policy space. Analyses of party positions, economic conditions, and election outcomes in 17 democracies over 35 years support this prediction.
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The authors present a theory that seeks to explain why parties change their political strategies, organizational characteristics and issue positions. Whereas most of the existing literature on party change deals with party systems, the focus here is on individual parties. Whereas much of the literature views parties as responding more or less gradually to socioeconomic change, change is here regarded as a discontinuous outcome of specific party decisions linked to party goals. This approach is placed in the literature by reviewing extant theories of party change. Our theory itself is initially advanced in a discursive section which suggests that change does not `just happen', but instead results from leadership change, a change of dominant faction within the party, and/or an external stimulus for change. The article then presents a more formal exposition of this theory, consisting of definitions, assumptions, and a series of testable propositions. It concludes with illustrative examples of this theoretical framework.
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Do political parties respond to shifts in the preferences of their supporters, which we label the partisan constituency model, or to shifts in the mean voter position (the general electorate model)? Cross-national analyses — based on observations from Eurobarometer surveys and parties’ policy programmes in 15 countries from 1973 to 2002 — suggest that the general electorate model characterizes the policy shifts of mainstream parties. Alternatively, when we analyse the policy shifts of Communist, Green and extreme Nationalist parties (i.e. ‘niche’ parties), we find that these parties respond to shifts in the mean position of their supporters. The findings have implications for spatial theories and political representation.
Book
In democracies, power is obtained via competition. Yet, as women gain access to parliaments in record numbers, worldwide collaboration appears to be on the rise. This is puzzling: Why, if politicians can secure power through competition, would we observe collaboration in congress? Using evidence from 200 interviews with politicians from Argentina and a novel dataset from 23 Argentine legislative chambers over an 18-year period, Gendering Legislative Behavior reexamines traditional notions of competitive democracy by evaluating patterns of collaboration among legislators. Although only the majority can secure power via competition, all legislators – particularly those who do not have power – can influence the policy-making process through collaboration. I argue that as women have limited access to formal and informal political power, they collaborate more than men to influence policy-making. Despite the benefits of collaboration, patterns of collaboration vary among women because different legislative contexts either facilitate or constrain women’s collaboration.
Book
http://press.ecpr.eu/book_details.asp?bookTitleID=27
Article
"Engagingly written and employing a fruitful mix of comparative research methods, this book explains how and why small parties, while they may not be entirely masters of their own fate, are more than simply corks tossed on the ocean. It adds significantly to our understanding, and deserves to be widely read." -Tim Bale, University of Sussex, UK "Spoon uses innovative methods for examining the effect of green party behavior on their electoral fortunes, electoral presence, and visibility to the public . . . This book makes an important contribution to the fields of niche party fortunes, party politics, and comparative politics in general." -Bonnie Meguid, University of Rochester "Political Survival of Small Parties in Europe offers the rare treat of a small-n comparison that engages with broad political science issues of small party flair, feat, and fate. Mixed methods means that the depth of knowledge about individual cases is balanced with a theoretical ambition. In contrast with many other approaches, Spoon demonstrates the agency of small parties in adapting and using the constraints of their political and institutional environments." -Florence Faucher, Sciences Po-Centre d'études européennes, France It is often thought that small party survival or failure is a result of institutional constraints, the behavior of large parties, and the choices of individual politicians. Jae-Jae Spoon, in contrast, argues that the decisions made by small parties themselves determine their ability to balance the dual goals of remaining true to their ideals while maximizing their vote and seat shares, thereby enabling them to survive even in adverse electoral systems. Spoon employs a mixed-methods approach in order to explore the policy, electoral, and communication strategies of West European green parties from 1980 to the present. She combines cross-national data on these parties with in-depth comparative case studies of two New Politics parties, the French and British green parties, that have survived in similar national-level plurality electoral systems. Both of these green parties have developed as organizations and now run candidates in elections at the local, national, and European levels in their respective countries. The parties' survival, Spoon asserts, results from their ability to balance their competing electoral, policy, and communication goals. Jacket design: Heidi Hobde Dailey.
Article
Why do some political parties flourish, while others flounder? In this book, Meguid examines variation in the electoral trajectories of the new set of single-issue parties: green, radical right, and ethnoterritorial parties. Instead of being dictated by electoral institutions or the socioeconomic climate, as the dominant theories contend, the fortunes of these niche parties, she argues, are shaped by the strategic responses of mainstream parties. She advances a new theory of party competition in which mainstream parties facing unequal competitors have access to a wider and more effective set of strategies than posited by standard spatial models. Combining statistical analyzes with in-depth case studies from Western Europe, the book explores how and why established parties undermine niche parties or turn them into weapons against their mainstream party opponents. This study of competition between unequals thus provides broader insights into the nature and outcome of competition between political equals.
Article
This book develops the concept of the corporatist catch-all party to explain how the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has responded to changing demands from women over the past forty years. Otto Kirchheimer’s classic study argues that when catch-all parties reach out to new constituencies, they are forced to decrease the involvement of membership to facilitate doctrinal flexibility. In a corporatist catch-all party, however, societal interests are represented within the party organization and policy making is the result of internal party negotiation. Through an investigation of CDU policy making in the issue areas of abortion policy, work-family policy, and participation policy, this book demonstrates that sometimes the CDU mobilizes rather than disempowers membership. An important lesson of this study is that a political party need not sacrifice internal democracy and ignore its members in order to succeed at the polls. Reviews: “Sarah Wiliarty provides a fascinating look inside one of the largest and most important political parties in Europe. In closely analyzing a ‘traditional’ party’s response to gender issues, in developing a new and compelling perspective on party organization, and in linking the empirical literature on political parties to normative democratic theory, this book deserves a wide audience.” – David Art, Tufts University “This is one of the most important works yet written on one of the most important political parties in modern Europe. Sarah Wiliarty’s insightful analysis of the CDU’s internal dynamics is a major contribution to our understanding of a key player in German democracy. It also offers a fresh perspective on how organizational structures shape intra-party policy making.” – Clay Clemens, The College of William & Mary “Was Angela Merkel’s rise to become the first woman chancellor in German history an accident of party politics or a miracle of gender representation? Wiliarty shows how both party politics and women’s mobilization transformed the CDU, a religious, conservative party, away from its patriarchal ideas about women and family (called ‘traditional’) and led not only to Merkel’s breakthrough role but to her party’s leadership in providing paid family leave for women and men. But even more fundamentally, Wiliarty shows that careful attention to gender politics can explain a great deal about how parties themselves function. The corporatist catch-all party that Wiliarty describes as the CDU model may be increasingly the style for all political parties in the age of identity politics and multiple interest groups vying for influence.” – Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin “This is an excellent piece of research, utilizing high-quality, historical, and comparative methodology to answer the timely question of how conservative political parties respond to women’s demands. The quality and scope of the analysis will allow the book to reach a broad international audience at undergraduate, graduate, and scholarly levels.” – Kathrin Zippel, Northeastern University "Wiliarty’s book is carefully crafted, exceedingly well written, rich in detail, and timely…This book will appeal to scholars of comparative politics broadly and especially those concerned with party politics, gender politics, and European politics. It would be well received by students in upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses on these topics." – Miki Caul Kittilson, Comparative Political Studies "Sarah Wiliarty’s book … makes strong empirical and theoretical contributions to the study of German politics, comparative politics more broadly, and gender and politics." – Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, German Politics and Society
Article
Americans consistently name Republicans as the party better at handling issues like national security and crime, while they trust Democrats on issues like education and the environment – a phenomenon called “issue ownership.” Partisan Priorities investigates the origins of issue ownership, showing that in fact the parties deliver neither superior performance nor popular policies on the issues they “own.” Rather, Patrick J. Egan finds that Republicans and Democrats simply prioritize their owned issues with lawmaking and government spending when they are in power. Since the parties tend to be particularly ideologically rigid on the issues they own, politicians actually tend to ignore citizens' preferences when crafting policy on these issues. Thus, issue ownership distorts the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policies.
Article
Theory: This paper develops and applies an issue ownership theory of voting that emphasizes the role of campaigns in setting the criteria for voters to choose between candidates. It expects candidates to emphasize issues on which they are advantaged and their opponents are less well regarded. It explains the structural factors and party system variables which lead candidates to differentially emphasize issues. It invokes theories of priming and framing to explain the electorate's response. Hypotheses: Issue emphases are specific to candidates; voters support candidates with a party and performance based reputation for greater competence on handling the issues about which the voter is concerned. Aggregate election outcomes and individual votes follow the problem agenda. Method: Content analysis of news reports, open-ended voter reports of important problems, and the vote are analyzed with graphic displays and logistic regression analysis for presidential elections between 1960 and 1992. Results: Candidates do have distinctive patterns of problem emphases in their campaigns; election outcomes do follow the problem concerns of voters; the individual vote is significantly influenced by these problem concerns above and beyond the effects of the standard predictors.
Article
Although a voluminous literature has shed light on the relationship between economic conditions and government accountability, most studies in this literature have implicitly assumed that the actions of competing political parties are either irrelevant or that they cancel each other out. In this paper, we take an important first step toward relaxing this strong assumption. We develop and test a set of theoretical propositions from the issue competition literature about the amount of emphasis that parties place on the economy during election campaigns. We test these propositions with an estimation technique that properly situates the motivations of rival elites within the context of spatial party competition using a spatial autoregressive model. On a sample of 22 advanced democracies from 1957 to 2006, we find strong support for the proposition that parties with a greater role in economic policymaking respond to worsening economic conditions by increasing their emphasis on the economy during election campaigns. We also find strong evidence of spatial contagion effects as parties respond positively to the campaign strategies of ideologically proximate parties. This finding reveals a fundamental link in the chain of economic accountability and has important implications for the study of party competition.
Article
Sanctions and homogeneity of intra-party preferences are the two main pathways to party unity in roll-call votes. However, only a few works have managed to properly measure the degree of polarization within the party, and therefore the link between ideological preferences and parliamentary voting behaviour has not yet been fully tested. Looking at the internal debates held during party congresses and analysing motions presented by party factions through quantitative text analysis, the present article provides a new measure of intra-party polarization that is exogenous to the parliamentary arena. This measure is used to disentangle the effect of ideological heterogeneity on MPs voting behaviour, net of the party whip. Our results show that factional heterogeneity negatively affects party unity. This effect, however, is conditional on the strength of whipping resources available to the party leader. When the electoral system or the intra-party candidate selection process allows strong discipline to be enforced, the negative effect of heterogeneous preferences on party unity is lower or no longer significant. However, since absences can be a strategy by which to express dissent while avoiding sanctions, they should be considered as an additional voting option and this is crucial to understanding the impact of intra-party heterogeneity on party unity.
Article
На материалах исследования британского парламента показывается, как гендер влияет на политические позиции, приоритеты и роли депутатов. Для женщин-политиков наиболее близки острые социальные проблемы и права женщин. По сравнению с коллегами–мужчинами женщины-депутаты придают большее значение работе в своем избирательном округе, чем в самом парламенте. В целом же автор отмечает, что гендерный разрыв среди политиков довольно незначительный и большее представительство женщин может изменить политическую повестку дня и общий политический стиль британского парламента к лучшему.
Article
Party leaders are the main actors controlling campaign strategies, policy agendas, and government formation in advanced parliamentary democracies. Little is known, however, about gender and party leadership. This article examines gendered leadership patterns across 71 political parties in 11 parliamentary democracies between 1965 and 2013. It shows that men and women have different access to, and experiences in, party leadership and that these gendered political opportunity structures are shaped by parties' political performances. Women are more likely to initially come to power in minor opposition parties and those that are losing seat share. Once selected for the position, female leaders are more likely to retain office when their parties gain seats, but they are also more likely to leave the post when faced with an unfavorable trajectory. Together, these results demonstrate that prospective female leaders are playing by a different (and often more demanding) set of rules than their male counterparts.
Article
This study examines whether parties respond to their supporters or to the median voter position. Party leaders require the support of the 'selectorate', which is defined as the group that has influence in party leadership selection. Inclusive parties, which rely on rank-and-file membership to select their leaders, will respond to their members. Exclusive parties, which rely on office-seeking members for leadership selection, will respond to the median voter position. Thus, intra-party institutions that (dis)enfranchise party members are crucial for understanding whether a party responds to their supporters (or to the median voter position). Using data from 1975-2003 for six West European countries, this article reports findings that inclusive parties respond to the mean party supporter position. While there is evidence that exclusive parties respond to the median voter position in two-party systems, this finding does not extend to multiparty systems. This study has implications for the understanding of intra-party institutions and political representation.
Article
Recent advances to the theory of issue ownership suggest that voters change their impressions of parties’ competencies in response to parties’ experiences in government. We add that parties’ evaluations depend on their success in fostering a cohesive image by managing diverse intra-party interests. We predict that voters’ impressions of parties’ internal discord negatively affect their assessments of parties’ policy competencies. Furthermore, voters’ choice of parties will also depend on perceptions of the parties’ coherence and competence. Using individual-level analysis of party evaluations in Germany, we test predictions from our theory using a new survey that contains questions on parties’ policy coherence and issue competence. The results hold important implications for the study of intra-party politics, issue competition and vote choice. Key Words: Public Opinion, Issue Competence, Issue Ownership, Party Politics, Electoral Behaviour
Article
Party system issue agendas are formed by the topics that individual parties decide to address, and these salience decisions are likely to be strategic. Two key strategies are commonly discussed in the literature: parties’ focus on (1) issues that they have ownership over and (2) issues that currently concern voters. Yet it is not known what explains the extent to which parties pursue each of these strategies. This paper argues that aspects of party organisation influence which salience strategy is pursued. Parties that have more resources will be able to ‘ride the wave’ of current concerns while parties with fewer resources are more likely to focus on their best issues. Furthermore, policy-seeking parties with strong activist influence will be less likely to ‘ride the wave’ and more likely to follow issue ownership strategies. An analysis of 105 election manifestos from 27 elections in 17 countries shows that aspects of party organisation are indeed strong and robust moderators of issue ownership strategies. Limited, albeit mixed, evidence is also found that party organisation affects the use of ‘riding the wave’ strategies. These results have important implications for our understanding of electoral campaigns, party competition and voter representation.
Article
This study maps the language that legislators use to define women's interests in the context of contemporary Germany. Using party groups' manifestos from the 2005 legislative elections and personal interviews with members of the 16th Bundestag (2005–9), the study compares female and male legislators within parties and female legislators across parties, with particular attention to how these interviewees' language cleaved to and from their party scripts (parties' positions on and language regarding women's interests). The map that emerges from this analysis suggests that legislators' language in talking about women's interests is mediated by sex and party affiliation in combination, such that female and male legislators differ within each party and female legislators differ across parties. The study shows that female legislators across parties share an emphasis on the inadequacy of formal equality in yielding women's equality in practice, but they diverge markedly in the policies that they recommend to address this problem. Much previous research on women's representation has focused on the finding that female legislators advocate for women at higher rates than their male colleagues, underplaying both the significant variation among female legislators as well as the contributions of conservative female legislators.
Book
This controversial new look at democracy in a multicultural society considers the ideals of political inclusion and exclusion, and recommends ways to engage in democratic politics in a more inclusive way. Processes of debate and decision making often marginalize individuals and groups because the norms of political discussion are biased against some forms of expression. Inclusion and Democracy broadens our understanding of democratic communication by reflecting on the positive political functions of narrative, rhetorically situated appeals, and public protest. It reconstructs concepts of civil society and public sphere as enacting such plural forms of communication among debating citizens in large-scale societies. Iris Marion Young thoroughly discusses class, race, and gender bias in democratic processes, and argues that the scope of a polity should extend as wide as the scope of social and economic interactions that raise issues of justice. Today this implies the need for global democratic institutions. Young also contends that due to processes of residential segregation and the design of municipal jurisdictions, metropolitan governments which preserve significant local autonomy may be necessary to promote political equality. This latest work from one of the world's leading political philosophers will appeal to audiences from a variety of fields, including philosophy, political science, women's studies, ethnic studies, sociology, and communications studies.
Article
Studies of political attention often focus on attention to a single issue, such as front-page coverage of the economy. However, examining attention to a single issue without accounting for the agenda as a whole can lead to faulty assumptions. One solution is to consider the diversity of attention; that is, how narrowly or widely attention is distributed across items (e.g., issues on an agenda or, at a lower level, frames in an issue debate). Attention diversity is an important variable in its own right, offering insight into how agendas vary in their accessibility to policy problems and perspectives. Yet despite the importance of attention diversity, we lack a standard for how best to measure it. This paper focuses on the four most commonly used measures: the inverse Herfindahl Index, Shannon's H, and their normalized versions. We discuss the purposes of these measures and compare them through simulations and using three real-world datasets. We conclude that both Shannon's H and its normalized form are better measures, minimizing the danger of spurious findings that could result from the less sensitive Herfindahl measures. The choice between the Shannon's H measures should be made based on whether variance in the total number of possible items (e.g., issues) is meaningful.
Article
We argue that governing status affects how voters react to extreme versus moderate policy positions. Being in government forces parties to compromise and to accept ideologically unappealing choices as the best among available alternatives. Steady exposure to government parties in this role and frequent policy compromise by governing parties lead voters to discount the positions of parties when they are in government. Hence, government parties do better in elections when they offset this discounting by taking relatively extreme positions. The relative absence of this discounting dynamic for opposition parties, on the other hand, means that they perform better by taking more moderate positions, as the standard Downsian model would predict. We present evidence from national elections in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, 1971–2005, to support this claim.
Article
This work investigates the process of position-taking, focussing on the factional bargaining within the party. Exploiting two recently built datasets that estimated the policy positions of Italian parties and factions from 1946 to 2010, we investigate if and to what extent factions bind the party leader in choosing the platform. We find confirmation for the idea that party positions are linked to factional preferences. Overall, the party works as a ‘bounded oligarchy’. Furthermore, the electoral payoff of party unity increases the impact of factional constraints when general elections approach. In line with the cartel party theory, however, autonomous leaders who are directly elected by a wider selectorate can get rid of factional ties choosing more moderate and vote-maximizing platforms.
Article
This article develops the reward-punishment issue model of voting using a newly collated aggregate measure of issue competence in Britain between 1971 and 1997, revealing systematic differences between governing and opposition parties in the way citizens' evaluations of party competence are related to vote intention. Using monthly Gallup ‘best party to handle the most important problem’ and vote intention data, time series Granger-causation tests give support to a classic issue reward-punishment model for incumbents. However, for opposition parties this reward-punishment model does not hold: macro-issue competence evaluations are Granger-caused by changes in vote choice or governing party competence. An explanation is offered based upon the differentiating role of policy performance and informational asymmetries, and the implications are considered for comparative studies of voting, public opinion and for political party competition.
Article
The program-to-policy linkage refers to the level of congruence between what political parties promise during election campaigns, as set out in their election programs, and the policies delivered by governments after elections. The program-to-policy linkage is an important element of modern democratic theory. Moreover, institutionalist theories predict variation in the strength of the linkage according to the extent to which parties hold control over the levers of power. For instance, we expect a stronger linkage for parties that go on to form single-party governments that control both the executive and legislative branches after the elections than for parties that must share power with others. In coalition governments, we expect that control over relevant ministerial portfolios is a key explanatory factor. Economic conditions also affect the ability of governing parties to deliver on their policy commitments. In this paper we examine the program-to-policy linkage by focusing on election pledges: campaign policy commitments that are specific enough for researchers to test whether they were fulfilled during the subsequent governing period. We study the fulfillment of 12,128 election pledges made prior to the formation of forty-two governments in ten countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Italy. The analyses pay particular attention to the fulfillment of 7,063 pledges made by parties that controlled the presidency or entered single-party or coalition governments after the elections. The countries and time periods selected contain considerable variation in institutional conditions. The parliamentary governments include single-party governments with parliamentary majorities (in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria), single-party minority governments (in Ireland, Sweden, Spain and Portugal), majority coalitions (in Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria), and minority coalitions (in Ireland and Italy). The US cases include a period in which the Democrats controlled both the Presidency and Congress, as well as periods of divided government. The selected cases also contain variation in economic conditions.
Article
This paper contains supplemental materials for "What Moves Parties? The Role of Public Opinion and Global Economic Conditions in Western Europe" (hereafter Adams-Haupt-Stoll 2007). We initially discuss the substantive significance of the variables from the original Model 1 from Adams- Haupt-Stoll 2007 and provide the variance-covariance matrix of the coefficients for this model. We then both present and discuss additional results. With respect to the latter, most (but not all) build upon Model 1. Models 7-11 and 32-35 are alternative model specifications. Models 12-13 employ a different measure of the public opinion shift variable. (These models must be fit using reduced sets of cases relative to the original due to missing data on the alternative measure.) Models 14-16 re-code the Dutch D66 as a non-leftist (specifically, a liberal) party. Model 17 employs three year running averages of the global economy variables instead of election year values in Model 4. Finally, Models 18-31 are estimated using different sets of cases, including multiply imputed instead of list-wise deleted data sets. Country-election cycle clustered robust standard errors are reported in parentheses throughout unless otherwise noted. Two significant digits are always carried. Levels of significance are indicated in the tables as follows: significant at the � = 0.01 level, ***; significant at the � = 0.05 level, **; significant at the � = 0.10 level, *. All reported significance levels are for two-sided tests and were calculated prior to rounding. Note that a t-distribution with C 1 degrees of freedom was employed in hypothesis tests, where C is the number of clusters (country-election cycles).
Article
In political representation research it is now generally recognised that in parliamentary systems political parties rather than individual members of parliament are the key actors in the process of political representation. However, this focus on political parties might have led to an underestimation of the role of individual members of parliament in this process, even in purely parliamentary systems. It tends to neglect the efforts of representatives to secure particular benefits for individuals or groups in their constituencies. In this paper we will address the question to what extent these forms of representation are part of the repertoire of activities of members of the Dutch parliament as compared to other European parliaments.This article was written when both authors were fellows at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). The parliamentary study on which it is based was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.
Article
Four of the five major political parties in Germany have voluntarily adopted gender quotas of some kind, and these quotas have assisted in increasing the number of women in the Bundestag to nearly one-third of its membership. While their impact on women's descriptive representation (the presence of women in elected decision-making roles) is relatively clear, research is needed to assess whether this descriptive representation in fact links to women's substantive representation (attention to women's interests in debate and in legislation). Through a content analysis of Bundestag plenary debates discussing laws sponsored or cosponsored by the Committee on Families, Seniors, Women, and Children, this study hypothesizes and tests several ways in which women legislators may be more likely than men to draw attention to women constituents and their interests. Using individual-level data, the study concentrates on gender and the implementation of a gender quota in any individual speaker's party as explanatory variables, and it incorporates indicators of both feminist and traditional notions of women's issues as response variables. Results of statistical analyses indicate that women do speak more frequently and more substantively in this set of debates, and it appears that the presence of a gender quota independently enhances attention to these issues.
Article
Will women transform party politics? As a group of relative newcomers to parties, women may contribute to shaping parties' policy agendas and to changing party rules. A party-level perspective allows for examination of the national-and party-level contextual influences that condition the effect of women on party platforms. Systematic analysis of a broad range of 142 political parties in 24 post-industrial democracies from 1990 to 2003 illuminates the dynamic relationship between women's political power and party politics. Drawing on the Comparative Manifestos Project data and original party-level data, the multi-level analyses reveal that women's rising numbers among a party's parliamentary delegation and among its leadership committee contribute to an emphasis on social justice in the party programme, and to the adoption of gender quota policies. Furthermore, for welfare state expansion, the effect of women MPs is amplified by the presence of a women's organization within the party.
Article
Some feminist theory suggests that women have different value priorities compared to men, which should lead to different political perspectives and political behavior among candidates for elected office. By contrast, the theory of responsible party government predicts that there should be few gender-based differences in perspectives and behavior among candidates, due to party discipline. Studies conducted in the United States and elsewhere, however, have consistently shown that legislators are district-oriented, irrespective of party affiliation. In this article, the authors apply multivariate analysis to matched mass-elite survey data collected during the 1987 Australian federal election to analyze the policy views of male and female candidates and to compare them to attitudes among their constituents. For candidates, party dominates political attitudes, with much less influence for constituency opinion and little at all for gender except on the question of advancement for women. These findings are somewhat at variance from similar studies in the United States and Britain.
Article
Parliamentary role structures do not come into being as a consequence of the MPs’ behavioural preferences alone. In the German case, five constructive features constitute the casting mould within which the roles of MPs are formed: ‘team formation effects’ of the parliamentary system of government; professionalisation and division of labour within a ‘work parliament'; the fact that German MPs are, and hence behave as, party leaders; and role‐shaping effects both of interest groups and of constituency work. Based on a survey conducted in 1994 among all 2,800 German MPs, and on a return rate of about a third, the effects thereof are described. Subsequently, the ‘role partners’ or ‘counter roles’ of German parliamentarians are presented, and data on role orientations, role behaviour, role conflicts and parliamentary socialisation are discussed. Role orientations and role behaviour of German representatives are clearly correlated, and both match quite well the functional logic of representative democracy. On balance it may be stated that the average German MP is doing a good job.
Article
Seat allocation formulas affect candidates' incentives to campaign on a personal rather than party reputation. Variables that enhance personal vote-seeking include: (1) lack of party leadership control over access to and rank on ballots, (2) degree to which candidates are elected on individual votes independent of co-partisans, and (3) whether voters cast a single intra-party vote instead of multiple votes or a party-level vote. District magnitude has the unusual feature that, as it increases, the value of a personal reputation rises if the electoral formula itself fosters personal vote-seeking, but falls if the electoral formula fosters party reputation-seeking.
Article
The U.S. phenomenon of divided government has its counterpart in a parliamentary system as a result of the politics of coalition. One legislative coalition may put the executive in place, a different legislative coalition may sustain it in a vote of confidence, while yet another legislative coalition enacts measures that thwart its day-to-day business. I explain such division between executive and legislature by relaxing the party-as-unitary-actor assumption and recognise that executive and legislative elements of the same party may pursue different strategies. Party leaders may enter into commitments to coalition partners that involve implicit or explicit obligations to impose intraparty discipline. Leaders may do this with greater or lesser enthusiasm, and the required discipline may or may not be forthcoming. Thus, governments may be defeated in legislative votes because the legislature fails to honour obligations entered into by the executive. This paper sets out a simple model of this process, begins to analyse it, and elaborates a recent real-world example of the phenomenon.
Book
Series editors' preface Acknowledgements Part I. The Context: 1. Theory, institutions, and government formation 2. The social context of government formation 3. The government formation process Part II. The Model: 4. Government equilibrium 5. Strong parties Part III. Empirical Investigations: 6. Two cases: Germany, 1987 Ireland, 1992-3 7. Theoretical implications, data, and operationalization 8. Exploring the model: a comparative perspective 9. A multivariate investigation of portfolio allocation Part IV. Applications, Extensions, and Conclusions: 10. Party systems and cabinet stability 11. Making the model more realistic 12. Party politics and administrative reform 13. Governments and parliaments Bibliography.