Online Paper Room
Theme:
Research Committee Sessions
(RC06) Political sociology
Panel:
RC06 — Land-use Policy and Segregation by Race and Class in Cross-National Perspective
Paper:
Paper not available
Inequality, Austerity and Political Representation in Southern Europe
Abstract:
The topic of inequality has topped the agenda in many social science disciplines in the last few years. There is widespread evidence that levels of inequality in most post-industrial societies have resumed an upward trajectory during the last decades and there plenty of recent studies trace the economic, social and political effects of inequality. Among them several studies have investigated the impact of social and economic inequality on political representation, especially in the United States (e.g. Althaus, 2003; Bartels 2008; Gilens & Page 2014). Revisiting Verba et al. (1978), our study focuses on the impact of social and economic inequality on political representation and on the potential effects of the economic crisis on that relationship in three of the most hard-hit countries in Europe: Portugal, Spain and Greece. We go beyond many studies on representation by examining degrees of congruence between political elites and citizens on policy preferences and trying to discern whether some groups in society (eg. regarding income, education, etc) are better represented than others. In particular, we attempt to investigate a) whether the most disadvantaged groups in society hold different policy preferences than other social groups, b) whether there is an underrepresentation of the lower and less privileged strata, i.e. whether social and economic forms of exclusion is also related to political forms of exclusion, and c) whether the emergence of the economic crisis had a significant effect in that relationship. In order to answer these questions we use data from the 2009 and 2014 European Election Studies.
Authors:
Ana M. Belchior
Instituto superior de ciências do trabalho e da empresa, Portugal
Emmanouil Tsatsanis
Instituto universitario de Lisboa, Portugal
 
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