Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

Background, Representation, and Communication: Parliamentary Candidates in a Comparative Perspective

Political Parties
Comparative Perspective
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Rune Karlsen
Institute for Social Research, Oslo
Panel Co-Chair
Lieven De Winter
Université catholique de Louvain
Panel Discussant
Åsa von Schoultz
University of Helsinki
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23/08/2018 09:00
Building: VMP 8 Floor: 2 Room: 209
Candidates are central in the process of representation in advanced democracies. During competitive electoral campaigns they act as direct intermediary between (constituency) voters and parliaments and governments. In the US, candidates have always occupied an important place to the extent that the system is labeled candidate centered. In Western Europe a number of studies found that the essential ‘representational bond’ was not between the local representative and his or her local constituency, but between parties and the party voters. Studies exploring the electoral connection between representatives and voters were therefore for a long time focused almost exclusively on the link between voters and parties. This started to change as a consequence of changes in the make-up and performance of political parties, the increasing prominence of individual politicians over their political parties, and the nature of electoral communication. A change often labelled the “Americanisation” of political communication, campaigns, and even politics tout court. In this panel we focus on the role of parliamentary candidates in western democracies and ask: Where do candidates come from (in terms of their socio-economic and political background? What is their policy preference? Are these preferences congruent to those held by their voters? How do candidates view their role as (potential) “representatives of the people”? And, how do they reach out to their potential voters during election campaigns?

Paper List

Candidate Selection: Selectors of Main Intraparty Principals Vis-À-Vis Candidates & Aspirants View Paper Details
Candidates’ Representational Roles View Paper Details
The Electoral Conditions of Campaign Behavior. Germany and the UK in Comparison View Paper Details
Who Deviates from the Party Line? A Comparative Analysis of the Policy Preferences of Candidates View Paper Details
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"In all forms of Government the people is the true Legislator" - Edmund Burke

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