Very happy to announce that my project on the consequences of coalition government compromise on public opinion was approved by the FWF as Firnberg funding programme. The project will start on October, 1, 2018.
The project examines: (1) which coalition compromises are more likely to be accepted by voters, (2) which voters are more likely to accept or resist coalition compromises and (3) what short and long term consequences coalition compromises have on voters.
In this project, I pursue two major goals. First, I aim to develop a comprehensive theoretical framework that, while taking into account the heterogeneity of voters and coalition agreements, examines both the specific and diffuse consequences that government compromises have on voters in European democracies. Second, I will empirically test my theoretical expectations using existing survey data and novel survey experiments. To this end, survey evidence is coupled with an original content analysis of coalition compromises that takes into account not only the policy and ideological orientation of coalition agreements but also the use of nonpartisan experts and transparency in negotiation deliberations that are likely to have important electoral ramifications.
The findings of my research will provide important insights into the difficulties and challenges of today’s representative democracy. The evidence produced by this project is important especially in light of increasingly polarized public opinion and the recent success of ‘populist’ parties that tend to refute government participation and the key features intrinsic to pluralism, that is, elite bargaining and compromise.