ECPR Joint Sessions
University of Warsaw, Warsaw
29 March - 2 April 2015

Accountability Without Parties? The Effects of Dealignment on Accountability in Electoral Decision-Making

Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Ruth Dassonneville
Université de Montréal
Workshop Co-Director
André Blais
Université de Montréal

The presence of a process of dealignment is likely to have fundamentally affected voting and the process of representation more specifically. It is generally assumed that representation can be reached in two different ways; by representatives who act as mandates of the views of their voters or by means of an accountability-mechanism (Przeworski, Stokes & Manin, 1999). The focus of the workshop will be on the second mechanism: accountability.

Vote choice processes in advanced democracies have changed substantially over the past few decades. The bonds between parties and citizens have weakened through a process of dealignment; this has led to a decrease of party membership, partisan loyalties, declining turnout figures, increased volatility and an increased weight of short-term voting determinants (Dalton & Wattenberg, 2000; Franklin, 2004; Walczak, van der Brug & De Vries, 2012). Importantly, a large group of scholars have indicated that the weight of politicians’ personality in the vote choice process is increasing (Karvonen, 2010; Mughan, 2000). Furthermore, we know that voters decide ever later what party to vote for on Election Day (Blais, 2004). This increase of late deciding has consequently led to an increased importance of election campaigns (Kosmidis & Xezonakis, 2010).

The accountability mechanism is likely to be affected by the process of dealignment. The workshop will focus on two related aspects of the process of dealignment, the weakening of partisan ties and the growing of the personalization of politics, and their effects on accountability. The specific questions to be addressed are whether the waning of partisanship has led to an increase or decrease of accountability, whether non partisans are more or less prone to reward or punish incumbents, whether parties or rather party leaders are held accountable by voters, and whether the rise of ‘new’ and ‘protest’ parties increases or hinders accountability.

Paper List

Has the Great Recession Weakened Partisanship and Government Accountability in the Advanced Democracies? View Paper Details
Why (Still) Vote for Europe? Collective Memories, Multiple Identities and Shifting Loyalties View Paper Details
Does Loyalty Influence Accountability? Economic Voting in Times of Crisis View Paper Details
Preferential Voting and Accountability in an Ethnically divided Country: The Case of Latvia View Paper Details
Where, When and for Whom does it Matter Who is in Power? View Paper Details
Partisanship, Attitudes of Political Distrust and their Implications for Democracy View Paper Details
Appealing Broadly or Narrowing Down? Explaining Parties’ Issue Salience Strategies in Election Campaigns View Paper Details
Disentangling Electoral Volatility: Party System Innovation and Deinstitutionalisation in Western Europe (1945 – 2014) View Paper Details
How do Types of Electoral Accountability Affect Electoral Behaviour? View Paper Details
Campaign Dynamics of Mobilisation in German Elections, 2005 – 2013 View Paper Details
Parties’ Answer to Voter Dealignment: The Record View Paper Details
Alternative Parties, Alternative Representation? View Paper Details
Short-Term Electoral Forces in Western Europe: Changing Weight of the Economic Vote? View Paper Details
Electoral Accountability in Candidate-Centered Electoral Systems: A Cross-national and Longitudinal Analysis of Incumbent Parties’ Performance View Paper Details
Investigating the Relationship between Personalisation of Voting Behaviour and Electoral Volatility in Europe: A Cross-National Analysis View Paper Details
Accountability Without Parties? The Political Business Cycle and its Effect on the Re-election of Incumbents: The Case of Quebec Municipalities View Paper Details
Voting and Accountability in a Non-Partisan Election View Paper Details
Too Much Accountability: Politics Without Partisans in Post-Bailout Ireland View Paper Details
Economics and Accountability in Multi-level Governance: The case of Toronto View Paper Details
Dealignment and Accountability in Europe since the 1980s View Paper Details
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