24.1. 2019, 13:00 Uhr
Dr. Eric Guntermann
In recent years, there has been considerable evidence that citizens' adopt the policy positions of their party. What we still do not know is whether citizens follow their party when it forms post-electoral coalition agreements, which frequently require that parties give up or moderate their previous positions. We leverage changes in coalitions in Germany since 2005. In that year, Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats formed a grand coalition with the Social Democrats, followed by a centre-right coalition with the Free Democrats and then moved back to grand coalitions. We test whether such changes led partisans of coalition parties to adjust their policy preferences in the direction of the coalition partner's positions. We expect that under grand coalitions, both Christian Democratic and Social Democratic partisans moved towards the centre. Conversely, under centre-right coalitions, Christian Democrats and Free Democrats moved to the right. We use panel data from the German Longitudinal Election Study.
About the Speaker
Dr. Eric Guntermann (PhD, University of Montreal) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is working with Prof. Gabriel Lenz on the relationship between issue voting and policy representation. His research focuses on the relationship between public opinion and political elites. He defended his dissertation on party influence on public opinion on regional nationalism in Spain in November 2016 at the Université de Montréal where he was supervised by André Blais (Montréal) and Ignacio Lago (UPF Barcelona). His work has been published in Party Politics, Political Science Research and Methods, European Political Science, and Canadian Public Administration. He also has a forthcoming book chapter on partisanship beyond party identification in multi-party democracies. Eric was co-recipient of the GESIS-CSES Klingemann Prize for the Best Scholarship using CSES data in 2018 for his paper “Linking Party Preferences and the Composition of Government: A New Standard for Evaluating the Performance of Electoral Democracy”.