Citizen Satisfaction Under Changing Political Leadership: The Role of Partisan Motivated Reasoning

Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, online first. doi: 10.1111/gove.12317

17 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2017 Last revised: 23 Mar 2018

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

There exists a gap in our understanding of what citizen satisfaction evaluations actually represent. While recent years have witnessed a move away from performance-based models to cognitive-implicit models of citizen satisfaction, the inherent political nature of government, its institutions and services has been largely ignored. Drawing upon the functional responsibility chain between political principals and governmental, public service delivering institutions, we outline a theory of citizen satisfaction that accounts for the political nature of these institutions. In the context of two consecutive general elections we find a partisan bias in citizen satisfaction with government and the legislative branch, but not for institutions that are more clearly separated from national government. These mixed findings are suggestive of a dispersion effect of the partisan bias in citizen satisfaction, namely that citizens are less likely to use their partisan lenses in cases where the responsibility of political principals is dispersed across multiple actors.

Keywords: Citizen Satisfaction, Partisan Bias, Motivated Reasoning, Behavioral Public Administration, Quasi-Experimental

Suggested Citation

Jilke, Sebastian, Citizen Satisfaction Under Changing Political Leadership: The Role of Partisan Motivated Reasoning (2017). Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, online first. doi: 10.1111/gove.12317. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3024855

Sebastian Jilke (Contact Author)

Rutgers University-Newark ( email )

111 Washington Street
Center for Urban and Public Service
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sebastianjilke.net

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