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Pledges in democracy

Pledges in democracy

Objective

Election pledges are supposedly a vital part of representative democracy. Yet we do not in fact know whether and how pledges matter for vote choice and accountability. This project thus asks: Do election pledges matter for voters’ democratic behavior and beliefs?

The role of pledges in citizens’ democratic behavior and beliefs is, surprisingly, virtually unexplored. This project’s ambition is therefore to create a new research agenda that redefines how political scientists think about the link between parties and voters. The project not only advances the research frontier by introducing a new, crucial phenomenon for political scientists to study; it also breaks new ground because it provides original theoretical and methodological tools for this new research agenda.

The key empirical contribution of this project is to collect two path-breaking datasets in the United States, France, and Norway that produce an unbiased estimate of voters’ awareness and use of pledges. The first consists of a set of innovative panel surveys with embedded conjoint experiments conducted both before and after national elections. The second dataset codes all pledges; whether or not they are broken; and how the mass media report on them.

This project is unique in its scientific ambition: It studies the core mechanism of representative democracy as it happens in real time, and does so in several countries. If successful, we will have much firmer knowledge about how voters select parties that best represent them and sanction those that betray their trust – and what this all implies for people’s trust in democracy.

Host institution

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Address

Nordre Ringgade 1
8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 999 255

Beneficiaries (1)

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AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 1 999 255

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 817855

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 August 2019

  • End date

    31 July 2024

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 999 255

  • EU contribution

    € 1 999 255

Hosted by:

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark