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Responsiveness and Democratic Politics and Policy

Virtual Special Issue from West European Politics

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The idea of responsiveness is central to modern understandings of democracy. It has long drawn attention to how elected politicians, political parties, legislatures and governments respond to the expectations of citizens, social movements and interest groups in representational and policy terms. Recent work tends to highlight the two-way character of responsiveness and the challenges to responsiveness associated with multi-level politics and policy. West European Politics has covered the concept and practice of responsiveness intensively, including in a special issue on Assessing Political Representation in Europe (Volume 35, Issue 6, 2012), edited by Christine Arnold and Mark N. Franklin, and a special issue entitled Responsive and Responsible? The Role of Parties in Twenty-First Century Politics (Volume 37, Issue 2, 2014), devoted to the work of the late Peter Mair and edited by Luciano Bardi, Stefano Bartolini and Alexander H. Trechsel. The present collection includes 12 recent articles all of which engage directly with the concept and practice of political and policy responsiveness in Europe’s multi-level system, with a focus on the responsiveness of political parties, governments, legislatures and the EU.

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The articles below are free-access via this page until 31 December 2021.

Article Title Author Volume & Issue Year
Congruence and party responsiveness in Western Europe in the 21st century Raimondas Ibenskas & Jonathan Polk 2021
The impact of EU intervention on political parties’ politicisation of Europe following the financial crisis Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte 43 (4) 2020
It takes two: how Eurosceptic public opinion and party divisions influence party positions Jae-Jae Spoon & Christopher Williams 40 (4) 2017
To adapt or to disregard? Parties’ reactions to external shocks Patrícia Calca & Martin Gross 42 (3) 2019
Assessing democratic representation in multi-level democracies Thomas Däubler, Jochen Müller & Christian Stecker 41 (3) 2018
Federal reform and the quality of representation in Belgium Emilie van Haute & Kris Deschouwer 41 (3) 2018
Government responsiveness to voters’ economic vulnerabilities: evidence from 17 European democracies Carsten Jensen & Mathias Bukh Vestergaard 2021
Responsive to whom? A comparison of the Mitterrand and Hollande presidencies Koen Damhuis & Johannes Karremans 40 (6) 2017
Are they listening? Public opinion, interest groups and government responsiveness Heike Klüver & Mark Pickup 42 (1) 2019
Business interests, public interests, and experts in parliamentary committees: their impact on legislative amendments in the German Bundestag James P. Cross, Rainer Eising, Henrik Hermansson & Florian Spohr 44 (2) 2021
Pre-parliamentary party career and political representation Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz, Marie Kaldahl Nielsen, Helene Helboe Pedersen & Mathias Wessel Tromborg 43 (6) 2020
Agenda responsiveness in the European Council: public priorities, policy problems and political attention Petya Alexandrova, Anne Rasmussen & Dimiter Toshkov 39 (4) 2016

About the journal

West European Politics (WEP) has established itself as one of the most authoritative journals covering politics, government and public policy in Western Europe. Its comprehensive scope, embracing the major political developments, including the European Union, and its coverage of all national elections in Western Europe, make it essential reading for both academics and practitioners. The journal normally publishes at least two special issues per volume.

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