The Nature of Political Representation in Times of Dealignment

Image: Catherine Bebbington. CC-BY-ND 2.0 UK Parliament.
This project is collaborative work with Prof. Dr Thomas Zittel and Dr Markus Baumann (Goethe Universit├Ąt Frankfurt am Main), Prof. Dr Rosie Campbell and Diane Bolet (King’s College London) and Wouter Schakel (Leiden University). It is financially supported by DFG, ESRC, and NWO under the Open Research Area (ORA).

Weakening partisanship in West European electorates results in increasing disconnection between citizens and the state; raising pressing questions regarding future mechanisms of political representation that could sustain responsive government. To explore this serious challenge to democratic governance, this project investigates the viability, and conditions of, dyadic forms of representation in established European democracies. We particularly aim to study whether individual MPs pay attention to citizen-initiated inquiries in low information environments, what types of cues most often gain their attention, and how electoral contexts condition the interactions of citizens and MPs.

Tom Louwerse
Associate Professor

Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University