Assessing democratic representation in multi‐level democracies

Däubler, Thomas ; Müller, Jochen ; Stecker, Christian

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2018
The title of a journal, publication series: Western European Politics
Volume: 41
Issue number: 3
Page range: 541-564
Place of publication: Abingdon
Publishing house: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0140-2382 , 1743-9655
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
Subject: 320 Political science
Abstract: This article introduces the special issue ‘Assessing democratic representation in multi-level democracies’ from a conceptual perspective. It adapts Powell’s chain of responsiveness – as a model of the democratic process on the national level – to the context of multi-level systems and discusses conditions that might facilitate or hamper responsiveness in regional democracies. The theoretical reasoning identifies added complexity, multiple actors sharing the same label and cross-level interdependent decisions as the key challenges to multi-level democracy. Empirical illustrations focus on the first stage of the representation process. Here voters should form rational policy preferences and take informed voting decisions, and parties are expected to offer coherent policy platforms that are tailored to the specifics of the regional level. While the analysis of party manifesto data suggests that regional parties cover regional issues, and strategic incentives to focus on other levels appear limited, survey-based information illustrates the cognitive burden of multi-level democracy on voters. In combination with a synopsis of the other contributions assembled in this issue, the findings suggest that information, responsibility and accountability problems may be particular obstacles to responsiveness in multi-level systems.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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