Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2067
A topic that has attracted much attention among scholars in recent years, especially those focused on Western political systems, is the purported crisis in representation. The phenomenon refers to an increasing disconnect between citizens and elites (from individual representatives, through to parties and governments). The representation gap has been studied from a variety of conceptual lenses and empirical frames, from a democratic responsiveness angle (Powell 2004) and broader ideological congruence perspective (Powell 2009) to narrower concerns with policy and issue congruence among voters and elites (e.g. Thomassen 2012). VAAs constitute a rich, yet under-exploited, data source for empirical analyses that aim to contribute to this crucial debate. To address the VAA data source gap in the literature, this panel welcomes papers that draw on VAA datasets to study the quality of representation broadly understood. This includes the study of congruence between voters and elites at different levels of aggregation, from candidate to parties, and with respect to different foci, from broader ideological scales to specific policy issues. Innovations in how to measure elite-voter congruence are welcome while papers with a comparative focus, either cross-national or over time, are particularly encouraged.