Partisan Policy-Making in Western Europe: How Ideology by Sebastian Hartmann

By Sebastian Hartmann

Sebastian Hartmann goals at answering the query even if socioeconomic guidelines applied via governments are usually quite comparable or no matter if their content material truly varies with the ideological history of governments. additionally, he desires to discover no matter if executive features corresponding to coalition or minority events effect the measure of partisan policy-making. the writer employs a brand new dataset of social and monetary guidelines accrued for a number of Western eu nations. via accomplishing a variety of empirical analyses and by utilizing an leading edge technique for analysing the coverage output, he indicates that ideology certainly concerns. notwithstanding, the measure of its impact is contingent upon structural features of governments.

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28 In such situations, it is unlikely that a party can fully hold its distinctive position (Jackman, 1987: 255; Caul/Gray, 2002: 209) and therefore the “definite and well-integrated policy sets” (Downs, 1957: 155) that the parties presented before the elections will ultimately not govern the voters. Based on the analyses of distances on the left-right scale, evidence for a trend of convergence was found by Mair (1995) and Knutsen (1998a) for several Western European countries, which are mainly multi-party systems.

From these two fundamental assumptions follows that the competing parties in a two-party system are expected to converge to the position of the median voter. They do so by placing themselves on a linear left-right scale on a position from which they can attract a maximum number of voters. Their respective ideological positions are assumed to be consistent over time. But as both parties converge to a central position, ideological differences between them are expected to be marginal or not to be found at all (Zohlnhöfer, 2008).

41 The duration of the effects created by the expansionary policies of left incumbents or by the contractive policies of right ones depends on the exact specifications of the economic frame and of the expectations (Drazen, 2001: 89). According to partisan theory, a government-triggered Partisan Business Cycle is, thus, the result of a deliberate government decision that aims at generating its preferred economic effects for ideological reasons. ). 3 The Main Assumptions of Partisan Theory Partisan theory as framed by Hibbs rests on several assumptions and propositions that define the linkages between the social groups of the constituencies, parties and policy (cf.

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