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The European Union and Beyond

Between Parties and Voters: Representation Among Candidates

Political Parties
Voting Behaviour
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Chloé Janssen
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Panel Co-Chair
Maximilien Cogels
Université catholique de Louvain

05/09/2019 11:00 - 12:40
Building: (Building A) Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 3rd floor Room: 309
Descriptive representation within elected assemblies has been extensively discussed, and it remains one of the main criteria to define legislative assemblies as ‘representative’. Research tends to focus on the selection process and on the representativeness of parliaments, putting light either on the role of political parties or on elected representatives. However, by focusing on the selection process or on the outcome of the elections, an important piece of the puzzle is missing: the candidates themselves. Candidates play a crucial role in the political linkage and have become the faces of political parties. Hence, candidates can have a direct impact on voters’ satisfaction.

The composition of a parliament depends directly on the composition of the pool of candidates. While we know that parties act as ‘gatekeepers’ by restraining or enhancing access to politics, we do not know much about the representativeness of the pool of candidates and how it varies according to the institutional, political, or socio-demographic context. Moreover, party strategies in list composition might also generate a distortion between the representativeness of the pool of candidates and representativeness of the elected assemblies.

The panel includes papers dealing with the issues discussed above, notably the question of descriptive representation among candidates (specifically gender and minority groups representation, and intersectional perspectives). We are also interested in other aspects of representation that are often overlooked by theoretical and empirical scholarship, such as local or geographical representation. Finally, papers focusing on the demand side, such as voters’ satisfaction with the candidates supply or analyses of preferential voting, are also welcomed.

Paper List

Title Details
Do Open List Systems Support the Representation of Ethnic Minority Women? Evidence from the Brussels Case View Paper Details
Home Sweet Home? The Geographic Concentration of Campaigning in Flexible List PR Systems View Paper Details
The Impact of Candidate Selection Processes on the Representation of the Pool of Candidates: The Case of the Elections to the European Parliament View Paper Details
Who Should Run And Where? A Conjoint Experiment on Party Member Support for Candidate Nomination at the German State- And Federal-Level View Paper Details
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