Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Election campaign agendas, government partisanship, and the welfare state
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
University of Gothenburg; Norway.
2015 (English)In: European Political Science Review, ISSN 1755-7739, E-ISSN 1755-7747Article in journal (Refereed) In pressText
Abstract [en]

Although theoretically contentious, most empirical studies contend that electoral-political factors structure the welfare state. In practice, most studies concentrate on ‘government partisanship’, that is the ideological character of the government. We agree that politics matters but also seek to expand our understanding of what ‘politics’ should be taken to mean. Drawing on recent comparative research on agenda-setting, we study the impact of whether welfare state issues were broadly salient in the public sphere during the election campaign that produced the government. We formulate hypotheses about how such systemic campaign salience and government partisanship (separately and interactively) affect welfare generosity. We also consider how such effects might have changed, taking into account challenges to standard assumptions of representative democracy coming from the ‘new politics of the welfare state’ framework. We combine well-known, but updated, data on welfare state generosity and government partisanship, with original contextual data on campaign salience from 16 West European countries for the years 1980–2008. We find that campaigns matter but also that their impact has changed. During the first half of the examined period (the 1980s and early 1990s), it mainly served to facilitate government partisanship effects on the welfare state. More recently, big-time campaign attention to welfare state issues results in some retrenchment (almost) regardless of who forms the postelection government. This raises concerns about the democratic status of the politics of welfare state reform in Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
welfare state; political parties; election campaigns; agenda setting
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42346DOI: 10.1017/S175577391500034XScopusID: 2-s2.0-84943302561OAI: diva2:933889
Available from: 2016-06-07 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-06-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jakobsson, Niklas
By organisation
Karlstad Business School
In the same journal
European Political Science Review
Political Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 17 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link