Exploring the Effects of Congruence: Party-Voter-Agreement and Citizens' Evaluation of Representation
Posted: 2 Sep 2013 Last revised: 15 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2013
Congruence between citizens and political actors is one of the most frequent discussed topics in research on representation nowadays. The concept is one of the main indicators for evaluating representation. The implicit assumption is: the higher the congruence, the better the quality of representation. This article attempts to test the (normative) assumption empirically and relates congruence to the citizens’ judgments about representation. In doing so, subjective congruence between citizens and political parties is analyzed by measuring the many-to-many-relationship. The data is driven from EES (2009), CSES (2005-2009). The results prove that congruence as well as perceived parliamentary responsiveness differ among the European citizenry. Despite, the findings indicate that congruence as a many-to-many relation does not correlate strongly to citizens’ (positive) evaluation of parliamentary representation.
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