Call for Papers: The programme-to-policy linkage in Eastern Europe from a comparative perspective
The programme-to-policy linkage is a cornerstone of representative democracy. Compared with the theory of accountability, where voters evaluate governments ex post, mandate theory suggests that under certain conditions, voters make pre-election evaluations, and use electoral pledges to estimate future government policy. Thus, parties behave as true agents only if they act in line with their campaign promises. However, according to Manin et al. (1999), the conclusions of the theory only work if certain criteria are met. First, in order for the voters to be able to assess future government policy, campaign promises need to be clear and campaigns to be informative. Second, voters have to believe that when in government, parties will act in line with their campaign promises. Third, voters have stable preferences which do not change between elections. Fourth, the electoral mandate is always the best way to reach the common good. Fifth, politicians always share the interests of the voters.
In the broader literature, there are two main approaches to the study of the programme-to-policy linkage. One identifies individual pledges and examines whether they are fulfilled during the respective electoral term or not (Royed 1996, Thomson 2001, Costello & Thomson 2008, Artés & Bustos 2008). The most important question scholars seek to answer is to what extent do parties fulfil the promises they make during their campaigns as well as what factors influence pledge fulfilment. The other approach considers the general content of election manifestos. Authors aim to reveal the salience of certain issues and investigate how the different emphases on different topics affect government spending (Budge & Hofferbert 1990, 1992).
We invite papers that touch upon the programme-to-policy linkage from the perspective of Eastern Europe. Both theoretical and empirical papers are welcome. We invite scholars to submit an abstract of no more than 800 words including a short bio and the description of the main question(s) and finding(s) of the paper along with the methodology applied, by September 1st, 2015 through our online submission system. The deadline for final papers is October 15th, 2015.
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