Election Promises, Party Behaviour and Voter Perceptions

Election Promises, Party Behaviour and Voter Perceptions

Hardback Public Sector Organizations

By (author) Elin Naurin

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Hardback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 220mm x 18mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 15 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 023029085X
  • ISBN 13: 9780230290853
  • Illustrations note: 21 black & white tables, 3 figures
  • Sales rank: 1,334,390

Product description

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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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'.

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

Table of contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION The Pledge Puzzle Election Promises in Representative Democratic Theory PART II: EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF PARTIES' FULFILMENT OF ELECTION PROMISES Definitions of Election Promises in Empirical Research Do Parties Fulfil their Election Promises? PART III: CITIZENS' VIEWS ON ELECTION PROMISES How Widespread is the Image of the Promise-breaking Politician? Just General Distrust? Citizens' Definitions of Fulfilled Election Promises PART IV: CONCLUSIONS Promising Democracy