Advertisement

“Oh, That Is a Big Word.” MPs’ and Citizens’ Perspectives on Parliamentary Representation

  • Mirjam Dageförde
  • Danny Schindler
Chapter
Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)

Abstract

Referring to role-theory and representation from above and from below, this chapter examines citizens’ and MPs’ views on parliamentary representation in France and Germany. Using both standardized and guided interviews, the authors explore differences between German and French deputies’ understandings of representation. Mass survey data provides the basis for examining citizens’ perceptions of representation and the demands that citizens make on their representatives. The analysis shows significant differences between both countries, and reveals gaps between citizens’ representational norms and perceptions. The chapter concludes by contrasting MPs’ and citizens’ perspectives and identifies areas of convergence or dissent and discusses the relevance of these findings for the ongoing discussion about a “crisis of representation.”

References

  1. Aberbach, Joel D., and Bert A. Rockman. 2002. Conducting and Coding Elite Interviews. Political Science and Politics 34: 673–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andeweg, Rudy B. 2012. The Consequences of Representatives’ Role Orientations: Attitudes, Behaviour, Perceptions. In Parliamentary Roles in Modern Legislatures, ed. Magnus Blomgren and Olivier Rozenberg, 66–84. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2014. Roles in Legislatures. In The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, ed. Shane Martin, Thomas Saalfeld, and Kaare Strøm, 267–285. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Andeweg, Rudy B., and Jacques J. Thomassen. 2005. Modes of Political Representation: Toward a New Typology. Legislative Studies Quarterly 30: 507–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailer, Stefanie. 2014. Interviews and Surveys in Legislative Research. In The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, ed. Shane Martin, Thomas Saalfeld, and Kaare Strøm, 167–193. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bengtsson, Åsa. 2011. The Representative Roles of MPs: A Citizens’ Perspective. Scandinavian Political Studies 34: 143–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bengtsson, Åsa, and Hanna Wass. 2010. Styles of Political Representation: What Do Voters Expect? Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties 20: 55–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blomgren, Magnus, and Olivier Rozenberg, eds. 2012. Parliamentary Roles in Modern Legislatures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Boynton, Gerald R., and Gerhard Loewenberg. 1973. The Development of Public Support for Parliament in Germany, 1951–59. British Journal of Political Science 3: 169–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bréchon, Pierre. 2006. Comportements et attitudes politiques. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.Google Scholar
  11. Bréchon, Pierre, Annie Laurent, and Pascal Perrineau. 2000. Les cultures politiques en France. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  12. Cain, Bruce E., Russell J. Dalton, and Susan E. Scarrow. 2008. Democracy Transformed?: Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Campbell, Rosie, and Joni Lovenduski. 2015. What Should MPs Do? Public and Parliamentarians’ Views Compared. Parliamentary Affairs 68: 690–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carman, Christopher J. 2006. Public Preferences for Parliamentary Representation in the UK: An Overlooked Link? Political Studies 54: 103–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ———. 2007. Assessing Preferences for Political Representation in the US. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 17: 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Converse, Philip E., and Roy Pierce. 1986. Political Representation in France. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Costa, Olivier, and Eric Kerrouche. 2009. Representative Roles in the French National Assembly: The Case of a Dual Typology? French Politics 7: 219–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Costa, Olivier, Pierre Lefébure, Olivier Rozenberg, Tinette Schnatterer, and Eric Kerrouche. 2012. Far Away, So Close: Parliament and Citizens in France. Journal of Legislative Studies 18: 294–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dageförde, Mirjam. 2013. Weit entfernt vom “idealen Abgeordneten”? Zu Normen und Praxis parlamentarischer Repräsentation aus Sicht der Bürger. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 44: 522–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dageförde, Mirjam, and Elisa Deiss-Helbig. 2013. Die Unterstützung des Parlaments: Bestimmt durch die Arbeit von Abgeordneten oder den Zugangs der Bürger zum politischen System? Ein deutsch-französischer Vergleich. In Zivile Bürgergesellschaft und Demokratie. Aktuelle Ergebnisse der empirischen Politikforschung, ed. Silke I. Keil and Isabell Thaidigsmann, 387–412. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dalton, Russell J. 2006. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 2007. Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 2013. Citizen Politics. Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Dalton, Russell J., Wilhelm P. Burklin, and Andrew Drummond. 2001. Public Opinion and Direct Democracy. Journal of Democracy 12 (4): 141–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Esaiasson, Peter, and Sören Holmberg. 1996. Representation from Above: Members of Parliament and Represenative Democracy in Sweden. Aldershot: Dartmouth.Google Scholar
  26. Esaiasson, Peter, and Hanne M. Narud. 2013. Between-Election Democracy. The Representative Relationship After Election Day. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
  27. Esaiasson, Peter, Mikael Gilljam, and Mikael Persson. 2013. Communicative Responsiveness and Other Central Concepts in Between-Election-Democracy. In Between-Election Democracy. The Representative Relationship After Election Day, ed. Peter Esaiasson and Hanne M. Narud, 15–34. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
  28. Eulau, Heinz, John Wahlke, William Buchanan, and Leroy Ferguson. 1959. The Role of the Representative: Some Empirical Observations on the Theory of Edmund Burke. American Political Science Review 53: 742–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Flick, Uwe, Ernst von Kardorff, and Ines Steinke. 2008. A Companion to Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Gabriel, Oscar W. 2013. Repräsentationsschwächen und die zweite Transformation der Demokratie: Wer will in Deutschland direkte Demokratie? Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 44: 507–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gabriel, Oscar W., and Everhard Holtmann. 2010. Der Parteienstaat—ein immerwährendes demokratisches Ärgernis?—Ideologiekritische und empirische Anmerkungen zu einer aktuellen Debatte. Zeitschrift für Politik 57: 307–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gabriel, Oscar W., and Lisa Schöllhammer. 2009. Warum die Deutschen ihrem Abgeordneten nicht mehr vertrauen als dem Bundestag. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 40: 414–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gabriel, Oscar W., and Melanie Walter-Rogg. 2008. Social Capital and Political Trust. In Social Capital in Europe. Similarity of Countries and Dissimilarity if People? Multilevel Analyses of the European Social Survey 2002, ed. Heiner Meulemann, 219–250. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  34. Golder, Matt, and Jacek Stramski. 2010. Ideological Congruence and Electoral Instituions. American Journal of Political Science 54: 90–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Grunberg, Gérard, Nonna Mayer, and Paul Sniderman. 2002. La démocratie à l’épreuve: Une nouvelle approche de l’opinion des Français. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  36. Huber, John D., and G. Bingham Powell. 1994. Congruence Between Citizens and Policymakers in Two Visions of Liberal Democracy. World Politics 46: 291–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kühne, Alexander. 2012. Repräsentation enträtselt oder immer noch “the Puzzle of Representation”? Entwicklungen und Lehren aus unterschiedlichen Forschungsstrategien. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 44: 459–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Loewenberg, Gerhard. 2011. On Legislatures. The Puzzle of Representation. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  39. Mansbridge, Jane. 2003. Rethinking Representation. American Political Science Review 97: 515–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mayer, Nonna. 2002. Les dimensions de la confiance. In La démocratie à l’épreuve. Une nouvelle approche de l’opinion des Français, ed. Gérard Grunberg, Nonna Mayer, and Paul M. Sniderman, 87–107. Paris: Presses De Sciences Po.Google Scholar
  41. Mayring, Philipp. 2008. Qualitative Content Analysis. In A Companion to Qualitative Research, ed. Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardorff, and Ines Steinke, 266–270. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Méndez-Lago, Monica, and Antonia Martinez. 2002. Political Representation in Spain: An Empirical Analysis of the Perception of Citizens and MPs. The Journal of Legislative Studies 8: 63–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Miller, Warren E., and Donald E. Stokes. 1963. Constituency Influence in Congress. American Political Science Review 57: 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Newton, Kenneth, and Pippa Norris. 2000. Confidence in Public Institutions: Faith, Culture, or Performance? In Disaffected Democracies. What’s Troubling the Trilateral Countries? ed. Susan J. Pharr and Robert D. Putnam, 52–73. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Norris, Pippa. 2011. Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Oñate, Pablo. 2016. La representation ación política en España: Las perspectivas de los ciudadanos y los diputados. In Desaffección política y regeneración democrática: diagn´sticos y propuestas, ed. Francisco J. Llera. Madrid: Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales.Google Scholar
  47. Patterson, Samuel C., Robert G. Boynton, and Ronald D. Hedlund. 1969. Perceptions and Expectations of the Legislature and Support for It. American Journal of Sociology 75: 62–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Patzelt, Werner J. 1993. Abgeordnete und Repräsentation: Amtsverständnis und Wahlkreisarbeit. Passau: Wissenschaftsverlag Rothe.Google Scholar
  49. ———. 1998. Ein latenter Verfassungskonflikt? Die Deutschen und ihr parlamentarisches Regierungssystem. Politische Vierteljahresschrift 39: 725–757.Google Scholar
  50. ———. 2005. Warum verachten die Deutschen ihr Parlament und lieben ihr Verfassungsgericht? Ergebnisse einer vergleichenden demoskopischen Studie. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 36: 517–538.Google Scholar
  51. Peters, Guy B. 2005. Institutional Theory in Political Science. The ‘New Institutionalism’. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  52. Pitkin, Hanna F. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  53. Powell, G. Bingham. 2004. The Chain of Responsiveness. Journal of Democracy 15: 91–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rehfeld, Andrew. 2009. Representation Rethought: On Trustees, Delegates, and Gyroscopes in the Study of Political Representation and Democracy. American Political Science Review 103: 214–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rohrschneider, Robert. 2005. Institutional Quality and Perceptions of Representation in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Comparative Political Studies 38: 850–874. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414005276305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rosanvallon, Pierre. 2015. Le bon gouvernement. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  57. Rozenberg, Olivier. 2013. Wisdom or Indifference? The Principles of Representative Government in the Eyes of French Voters. Journal of Legislative Studies 19: 196–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schild, Joachim. 2006. Politik. In Frankreich: Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft, ed. Joachim Schild and Henrick Uterwedde, 19–137. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schmidt, Christiane. 2008. The Analysis of Semi-structured Interviews. In A Companion to Qualitative Research, ed. Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardorff, and Ines Steinke, 253–259. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  60. Schüttemeyer, Suzanne S. 1986. Bundestag und Bürger im Spiegel der Demoskopie. Eine Sekundäranalyse zur Parlamentarismusperzeption in der Bundesrepublik. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Searing, Donald D. 1991. Roles, Rules, and Rationality in the New Institutionalism. American Political Science Review 85: 1239–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Siefken, Sven T. 2013. Repräsentation vor Ort: Selbstverständnis und Verhalten von Bundestagsabgeordneten bei der Wahlkreisarbeit. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen 44: 486–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Strøm, Kaare. 2012. Role as Strategies. In Parliamentary Roles in Modern Legislatures, ed. Magnus Blomgren and Olivier Rozenberg, 85–100. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Taidigsmann, Isabell. 2000. Parteien und Verbände als Vertreter von Bürgerinteressen. In Wirklich ein Volk? Die politischen Orientierungen von Ost- und Westdeutschen im Vergleich, ed. Jürgen Falter, Oscar W. Gabriel, and Hans Rattinger, 241–273. Opladen: Leske+Budrich.Google Scholar
  65. Thomassen, Jacques. 1994. Empirical Research into Political Representation: Failing Democracy or Failing Models? In Elections at Home and Abroad, ed. M. Kent Jennings and Thomas E. Mann, 37–64. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  66. Urbinati, Nadia. 2006. Representative Democracy. Principles and Genealogy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. von Schoultz, Åsa, and Hanna Wass. 2016. Beating Issue Agreement: Congruence in the Representational Preferences of Candidates and Voters. Parliamentary Affairs 69: 136–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wahlke, John, Heinz Eulau, William Buchanan, and LeRoy C. Ferguson. 1962. The Legislative System. Exlorations in Legislative Behavior. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  69. Weissberg, Robert. 1978. Collective vs. Dyadic Representation in Congress. American Political Science Review 72: 535–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Whitefield, Stephen. 2006. Mind the Representation Gap: Explaining Differences in Public Views of Representation in Postcommunist Democracies. Comparative Political Studies 39: 733–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zittel, Thomas. 2012. Legislators and Their Representational Roles: Strategic Choices or Habits of the Heart? In Parliamentary Roles in Modern Legislatures, ed. Magnus Blomgren and Olivier Rozenberg, 101–120. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  72. Zmerli, Sonja. 2012. Social Structure and Political Trust in Europe: Mapping Contextual Preconditions of a Relational Concept. In Society and Democracy in Europe, ed. Oscar W. Gabriel and Silke I. Keil, 111–138. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  73. Zmerli, Sonja, and Marc Hooghe. 2011. Political Trust. Why Context Matters. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirjam Dageförde
    • 1
    • 2
  • Danny Schindler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political and Social SciencesEuropean University InstituteFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Centre d’études européennes, Sciences-PoParisFrance
  3. 3.Institute for Parliamentary ResearchHalle (Saale)Germany

Personalised recommendations