16 Octobre – axe LOR | Isabelle Guinaudeau
10 h site Victoire, bât. G, salle Auriac (entresol)
vendredi 16 octobre 2020 /// axe LOR | Isabelle Guinaudeau
pour le projet de livre en co-écriture avec Emiliano Grossman :
Do elections still matter? Mandates, institutions and policymaking in Western Europe
Le livre est en anglais, la présentation sera en français.
Présentation du livre:
Are election campaigns relevant to policymaking? In a democracy, they should significantly matter, but their impact is still debated and remains a challenging object for empirical investigation. This book sheds new light based on a study of electoral priorities and the extent to which they are reflected in lawmaking. The agenda-setting approach proves fruitful to provide a comprehensive account of the electoral imprint on policies.
The book develops a conceptual framework allowing to bridge studies of party competition, pledge fulfillment and policymaking. We advocate a third way between the classic party government model and the instrumental perspective of electoral platforms as mere tools for gaining office with little policy effects. We argue that electoral priorities are a major agenda-setting factor, but mandates should not be mistaken as a pure reflection of party ideology and core constituencies. Parties are like “snakes in tunnels”: they have distinctive priorities, but they need to respond to emerging problems and their competitors’ priorities, resulting in considerable cross-partisan overlap. The "tunnel of attention" remains constraining in the policymaking arena, especially when opposition parties have resources to press governing parties to act on the campaign priorities. This key aspect of mandate responsiveness has been neglected so far, because in traditional models of mandate representation, party platforms are conceived as a set of distinctive priorities, whose agenda-setting impact ultimately depends on the institutional capacity of the parties in office. Rather differently, our perspective suggests that counter-majoritarian institutions and windows for opposition parties generate key incentives to stick to the mandate.
Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) data is used to test our expectations. We examine the degree of thematic overlap of party platforms in five contrasted political systems: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. We then examine how platform priorities shape legislative attention (the topic of adopted laws).
Our model allows to resolve a paradox: although we empirically verify that counter-majoritarian institutions constrain the agenda-setting of the electoral priorities of executives, mandates appear to matter more in consensual than in majoritarian systems – the Westminster system being the only context in which we find no unconditional mandate effect on the legislative agenda. We interpret this counter-intuitive finding with respect to lacking “tunnel” incentives in a political system in which the government concentrates most power.
This book makes an important contribution to contemporary debates on representation. Our findings renew mandate theories of representation and lead to question the idea underlying much of the comparative politics literature that majoritarian systems are more responsive that consensual ones.
VENDREDI 16 OCTOBRE 2020
Site Victoire, bât. G., salle Auriac (entresol)
Dans les deux cas, l'inscription est obligatoire : Tinette Schnatterer