State-wide and sub-state legislators' views on representation

Full Title: 
'State structure and political representation: comparing the views of state-wide and sub-state legislators across 14 countries,' European Journal of Political Research, 55(4), 866-884.
Abstract: 
How the recent creation, re-invention or reinforcement of regional levels of political decision making across Europe compounds political representation is one of the key issues of contemporary democratic government. Despite growing scholarly interest, the critical question as to whether the regional institutional setting has brought about distinct representational roles among sub-state legislators has yet to be addressed. To advance research in this eld, this study bridges the literature on multilevel politics and legislative studies that to date have developed in isolation. Using innovative survey data from 14 statewide and 56 regional legislatures across Europe, it provides the rst comprehensive test of how the state structure affects a legislator’s views on representation.The results highlight that,relative to l egislators in unitary states and national legislators in multilevel states, legislators at the regional level are more constituency-oriented. Moreover, this heightened responsiveness to constituents at the regional level is not offset by weaker collective representation operating through political parties. Beyond these ndings’ immediate relevance to scholars of federalism/regionalisation and parliaments, they also speak to the wider normative debate about the quality of political representation and public policy.
Publication year: 
2016
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