Historical Social Research

Yilmaz Esmer & Bahar Ayça Okçuoğlu: Dimensions of Political Representation: Ideological and Policy Congruence between the Representative and the Represented in Seven Countries. [Abstract]

Based on the understanding that modern democracies must be representative and that this is not only necessary but also desirable, this paper exploits a unique data set which makes comparisons of citizens and their parliamentary representatives on a number of dimensions possible at two points in time (roughly six years apart). The data allows us to comparatively evaluate three dimensions of congruence: ideology, economic policy, and democratic values. We have found that the levels of congruence for the first two dimensions is remarkably high while the popular demand for democracy is significantly lagging behind. Finally, we have failed to demonstrate a positive correlation between quality of democracy and levels of congruence.

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