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Voters’ Knowledge of Their Representatives: The Direct and Conditioned Effects of Parliamentary Work

Abstract : This article examines factors that influence voters’ knowledge of their representatives, a key element in securing the responsiveness and accountability of parliamentarians. We argue that the parliamentary work of MPs (Members of Parliament) benefits incumbents through increased name recall, and that this relationship is conditional on: the incumbents’ candidacy; the voters’ political competence; and their ideological proximity with their representatives. Combining data on French MPs’ activities with a 2007 CSES post‐election survey enables us to test our hypotheses, while controlling for confounding factors. The empirical analysis demonstrates that some parliamentary activities increase the voters’ capacity to recall the name of their MPs. The latter are therefore incentivised to be responsive to and serve their constituents. However, we also find that voters’ political competence and ideological proximity with their MP alter the relationship between parliamentary work and name recall. This may potentially introduce some biases in the democratic process of accountability.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02497124
Contributor : Isabelle Celet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 2:35:27 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 1:35:37 AM

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Abel François, Julien Navarro. Voters’ Knowledge of Their Representatives: The Direct and Conditioned Effects of Parliamentary Work. Swiss Political Science Review. Revue suisse de sciences politiques, Swiss Political Science Association 2020, ⟨10.1111/spsr.12390⟩. ⟨hal-02497124⟩

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