In a new study in Comparative Political Studies Anne Rasmussen and Stefanie Reher study whether civil society engagement enhances the link between public opinion and policy. In other words: does joining (politically active) voluntary associations make it more likely that policy is in line with the preferences of the public? To answer this question, they analyse …
The GovLis team is hosting a symposium that will bring together scholars interested in studying whether interest groups help or hurt the representation of the public. The event will take place at Leiden Unviersity (Campus The Hague) on April 25-26 and the deadline for proposing an abstract is March 1st. We hope to welcome you to the event! Please find more information on our event page.
Together with Marcel Hanegraaff, GovLis project member Wiebke Junk is organizing a section on interest groups at the ECPR General Conference September. The event will take place in Wroclaw, Poland. The section is called: “Interest Group and Lobbying Research in an Integrative Perspective: Building Bridges Across the Discipline”Moreover, GovLis’ prinicpal investigator Anne Rasmussen chairs a …
Based on their research about the framing of policy issues, Wiebke Junk and Anne Rasmussen published a post at the London School of Economics’ EUROPP blog. In it they argue that if lobbyists or other interest groups want to use framing to affect policy outcomes, they should work together. In other words: if a single lobbyist tries to frame an issue a certain way, it’s unlikely to help him/her. However, if a larger number of actors frame an issue in the same way, it does help. Curious? You can click the link below to read the entire post.
Does public policy in Europe reflect women’s preferences equally well as men’s? In this new study in the European Political Science Review, Stefanie Reher compares the opinions of women and men on 20 policy issues in over 30 European countries. She finds that in most cases, majorities of men and women want the same policy outcomes. However, when women and men do prefer different policies, men are more likely to get the policies they want. In the paper, Stefanie Reher also looks at differences across countries. She finds that the percentage of women in parliament is not related to the extent to which women get the policies they prefer. However, she does show that the higher the number of parties in parliament, the more likely that women’s preferences are reflected in policy (see figure below).
In a new paper (open access) in Party Politics, GovLis team member Jeroen Romeijn studies the policy positions of political parties in Germany. He finds that opposition parties generally take positions that are in line with public opinion. However, the positions of parties in government are not related to public opinion at all. Instead, they are related to the preferences of the supporters of government parties. Moreover, the paper shows that when the supporters of a political party and the general public disagree on a policy issue, political parties side with their supporters 84% of the time. Taken together, this suggests that when forced with a choice or put under pressure, political parties side with their supporters instead of the general public.
The new GovLis paper “the opinion-policy nexus in Europe and the role of politicial institutions” studies the relations between public opinion and policy on 20 policy issues in 31 European Democracies. In it, Anne Rasmussen, Stefanie Reher and Dimiter Toshkov find that there is a strong relationship between public opinion and policy, as well as a substantial degree of congruence between public opinion and policy. However, they find only limited effects of institutional factors, such as a country’s electoral system and the horizontal and vertical divisions of powers. The paper is forthcoming in the European Journal of Political Research and can be accessed here.
On June 7th and 8th the principal investigator of the GovLis project Anne Rasmussen attended a workshop about “Political Inequality and How Representative Democracy Functions” at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. She presented a paper, co-authored by GovLis team members Anne Binderkrantz and Heike Klüver and about how organized interests affect policy representation in Germany and Denmark.
The event was organized by Yvette Peters’ project “The Politics of Inequality“, in cooperation with Quinton Mayne from Harvard.
Early April 2018 GovLis team members Anne Rasmussen and Jeroen Romeijn presented three papers at the annual meeting of Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago. One key presentation was about the extent to which interest groups can strengthen the links between public opinion and policy.
Subsequently, the GovLis team met up at the Joint Sessions of the ECPR in Nicosia. Linda Flöthe and Wiebke Junk presented their work in a workshop on interest groups and public opinion, that was co-chaired by Anne Rasmussen in cooperation with Iskander de Bruycker. (Affiliated) GovLis team-members Stefanie Reher, Jeroen Romeijn and Dimiter Toshkov also presented their research in different workshops.
Project members Anne Rasmussen, Jeroen Romeijn and Dimiter Toshkov recently published a paper in Scandinavian Political Studies! The study focuses on 4 policy issues in Sweden and studies whether both the political agenda and policy react to both media advocacy and public opinion. It finds that although politicians seem to pay more attention to popular policy proposals, this does not necessarily translate into actual policy change. You can read more about the sub-project this study is a part of here.