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An Additional ECPR Panel for Glasgow: Policy Congruence: Causes and Consequences

SEDEPE member Lars Vogel (Jena) welcomes proposals to a panel titled “Policy Congruence: Causes and Consequences”, which is located in the “Elites and citizens: leadership, responsiveness or distance?” section.

Panel description:

Policy congruence has been considered as one of the main linkage mechanism between political elites and citizens. Further, in normative terms some degree of policy congruence is considered as desirable goal for representative democracies. Starting with the pioneering study by Miller/Stokes the policy-congruence approach has undergone a wide range of transformations and adaptations, analyzing amongst others policy congruence between legislators and their electoral districts, between public opinion and policy output, or between party leaders and their voters. Further distinctions are made between dyadic and collective, static and dynamic, many-to-one and many-to-many, input and output congruence to mention just a few. The manifold concepts assume different causes and consequences of policy congruence, which leads to diverging conceptions of the meaning of policy congruence and its relevance for representative democracies.

The panel therefore invites papers that deliberately address causes and consequences of policy congruence. Policy congruence is thereby understood in its widest sense comprising all above-mentioned forms. Papers are particular welcome that address the direction of influence: is policy congruence caused by responsive elites and active citizens (from below), or by elite leadership with following citizens (from above), or by other mechanisms (mutual or thermostatic feedback), or is it conditional on contextual factors? Comparative studies are also welcome that investigate into the institutional factors determining the degree of policy congruence. We further look forward for papers that analyze for single polities or within multi-level approaches the incentives and determinants for individual elite members to accord with their constituents. We also appreciate contributions that deal with the impact of policy congruence on evaluations of individual legislators or the political system (e.g. trust or democratic satisfaction). Of special interest is the question whether actual policy congruence is linked to citizens’ perception of elite- or system-responsiveness.

Paper proposal details can be found on the ECPR website:

Posted in Conferences.