Party government and policy responsiveness: Evidence from three parliamentary democracies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Does party government moderate the responsiveness of public policy to public opinion? Analysing a new dataset, we examine whether the ability of governments to respond to the public on 306 specific policy issues in Denmark, Germany and the UK is affected by the extent of coalition conflict and by the fit of the considered policy changes with the government preferences. We find a systematic but relatively weak positive impact of public support on the likelihood and speed of policy change. Contrary to expectations, a higher number of coalition partners are not associated with fewer policy changes nor with weaker responsiveness to public opinion. We also find no evidence that responsiveness to public opinion is necessarily weaker for policy changes that go against the preferences of the government. Rather, it appears that public and government support for policy change are substitute resources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)329 - 347
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - coalition government, legislative decisionmaking, party government, policy change, policy responsiveness, political parties

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