Konditionale Responsivität in Frankreich und Deutschland


The basic premise of democratic governance is that government represents citizen wishes. In its simplest form, governments assess citizen wishes based on electoral outcomes and publicly expressed problems and respond to these demands by enacting laws. Citizens inturn readjust their priorities as policies change. This project examines if and when governments respond to citizen demands. Our main contention is that government responsiveness is not constant and not a given; instead it is conditioned on the electoral pressure placed on government. We conceptualize electoral pressure in two ways: proximity to the election and government approval ratings. Governments are most responsive shortly before elections and when their electoral fortunes are threatened. We focus on polls on government popularity as an indicator of government approval between elections; electoral polls are used as an indicator of closeness. The proposal acknowledges previous work that explores how the linkage between citizens and government is modified by political institutions, such as electoral system, the type of government, and federalism. In addition to offering a more nuanced understanding of political responsiveness, the project delivers an innovative research design. Our investigation leverages empirical insights from two sources. First, we conduct a quantitative analysis of political activities using comparative policy agendas data. Second, we test the micro-level mechanisms at the government and citizen level using a survey. In short, this project delivers an important contribution to the understanding of when governments listen to public demands and provides evidence for the conditionality of responsiveness in Western democracies.

  • FB Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft
Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Sachbeihilfe/Normalverfahren414/16no information
Further information
Period: 01.03.2016 – 28.02.2019
Link: Project homepage