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Essays on Political Actors and Attitudes: Do They Constitute Distributed Reflexivity? Part 1: Median Voter Theorem vs. Competence Fields

[journal article]

Neumann, Martin; Srbljinović, Armano

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Abstract European political elites are faced with a loss of trust and the emergence of a growing number of sometimes rather obscure new political movements. How is this to be explained? What is the relationship between the logic that guides political attitudes of constituencies and the logic of political actors whose legitimacy is rooted in electoral choice of the constituencies? In this essay we approach this question from a systemic perspective, regarding this relationship as a problem solving feedback cycle. Classical approaches, such as the median voter theorem, view political actors as passively mirroring voters’ preferences. An alternative approach that we suggest, assumes that the perception of competences of political actors on the part of constituencies is key in the sense that it does not only reflect voters’ preferences, but it is also manipulable through the agency of political actors themselves. More generally, we argue that the perception of competence is socially constructed and contextually dependent.
Keywords European Policy; political philosophy; political actor; democracy; voter; political elite; political attitude
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 9-17
Journal European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities, 2 (2013) 2
ISSN 2285-4916
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works