From agenda setters to agenda takers? The determinants of party issue attention in times of crisis

Enrico Borghetto, Federico Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Question time represents one of the most relevant institutional arenas where parties compete to get their favourite issues on the parliamentary agenda. Parties select which issue to address by weighing up two commitments simultaneously: fulfilling the party mandate received by their voters at election time and responding to the current priorities of voters. This article assesses the extent to which the recent sovereign debt crisis impacted the way parties balance these two imperatives of democratic representation. Through the issue coding of around 10,000 parliamentary oral questions tabled in Italy, Portugal and Spain between 2003 and 2014, the analysis shows that the worsening of economic conditions intensified the impact of citizens’ priorities. However, there is no clear evidence of a decline in the importance of the party mandate for either the majority or opposition parties. These findings offer insights on the topic of party political representation in Southern Europe and whether it was affected by the Eurozone crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalParty Politics
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • euro crisis
  • parliamentary questions
  • policy agendas
  • representation
  • Southern Europe

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