Res Publica


Electorale competitie en het contact met de bevolking

Keywords electoral systems, constituency representation, Belgium and the Netherlands
Authors Audrey André en Sam Depauw
Author's information

Audrey André
Audrey André is post-doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar doctoraat (als FWO-aspirant) onderzocht de effecten van electorale instituties op het gedrag van parlementsleden in het kiesdistrict.

Sam Depauw
Sam Depauw is post-doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel en coördineert de PARTIREP ‘Participation and Representation in Modern Democracies’-bevraging bij nationale en regionale parlementsleden (met de steun van BELSPO).
  • Abstract

      Electoral institutions shape the incentive that elected representatives have to cultivate a personal vote, a geographically-concentrated personal vote in particular. But are electoral institutions able to make representatives do what they would not do otherwise and to make them not do what they otherwise would have done? Using data from the cross-national PARTIREP MP Survey, it is demonstrated that electoral institutions shape elected representatives’ local orientation. Local orientation decreases as district magnitude grows – regardless of what representatives think about political representation. But representatives’ conceptions of representation do shape their uptake in the legislative arena from their contacts with individual constituents. The effect of the electoral incentive grows stronger as elected representatives think of representation as a bottom-up rather than a top-down process.

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