Election Promises, Party Behaviour and Voter Perceptions

Election Promises, Party Behaviour and Voter Perceptions

By (author) Elin Naurin


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The focus of this book is the puzzling division between scholars and citizens concerning whether politicians keep their election promises. While scholars in political science often claim that parties tend to act on most of their election promises, citizens are presumed to hold the opposite view -- that parties usually break their promises. This 'Pledge Puzzle' guides Elin Naurin in her analysis of the often referred to, but not empirically investigated, 'conventional wisdom' about election promises. Naurin uses a wide range of methods and asks questions of importance for an understanding of representative democracy. She investigates whether parties keep their election promises and how widespread the image of the promise breaking politician is. She also explores what citizens class as a broken election promise, and whether parties will be called promise breakers no matter what they actually say and do.

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  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 142 x 220 x 18mm | 399.16g
  • 15 Aug 2011
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • Basingstoke
  • English
  • 21 black & white tables, 3 figures
  • 023029085X
  • 9780230290853
  • 1,344,244

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Author Information

ELIN NAURIN is Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research and teaching revolves around Representative Democratic Theory and Practice. She is affiliated to the Swedish National Election Study Programme and the Multidisciplinary Opinion and Democracy Research Group. She is also one of the initiators and coordinators of the research group 'Comparative Party Pledge Group'.

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Review quote

'This book is a real joy to read, ably tackling a major paradox in Western Democracies. Why is it when parties so often seem to fulfil their written election promises in government, that most electors think they break them? The answer as Naurin convincingly reveals, is that the political class has a different view from electors of what fulfilling election pledges means -- and even what the pledges are. Something obviously needs to be done about this serious misunderstanding and this book suggests what. A must buy for supporters and analysts of democracy alike.' - Ian Budge, Emeritus Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex, UK

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