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Do They Really Know? On Party Representatives’ Knowledge of the Extent to Which Their Parties Make Election Pledges

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Elin Naurin
Publicerad i Scandinavian Political Studies
Volym 39
Nummer/häfte 4
Sidor 388-410
ISSN 0080-6757
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Sidor 388-410
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9477.12076
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

The assumption that representatives hold knowledge about their parties’ programmes underlies models of representative democracy. However, representatives’ party knowledge is rarely discussed in theoretical detail, nor is it often systematically empirically investigated. This article takes the first steps and discusses what type of knowledge of their parties representatives need and what knowledge they actually have. Specific focus is given to parties’ election pledge-making. By comparing the number of parties’ pledges in Swedish election manifestos to Swedish party representatives’ perceptions of the extent to which parties make pledges, the article presents empirical evidence indicating low levels of knowledge. Knowledge is higher among top-level politicians and politicians who trust parties to generally keep their pledges, but the main conclusion is that research should not assume detailed knowledge of pledge-making in manifestos among elected representatives, which has not previously been shown in systematic studies.

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