Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-cf9d5c678-dksz7 Total loading time: 0.203 Render date: 2021-07-29T12:22:33.357Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

On the Limits to Inequality in Representation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2008

Stuart N. Soroka
Affiliation:
McGill University
Christopher Wlezien
Affiliation:
Temple University

Extract

The correspondence between public preferences and public policy is a critical rationale for representative democratic government. This view has been put forward in the theoretical literature on democracy and representation (e.g., Dahl 1971; Pitkin 1967; Birch 1971) and in “functional” theories of democratic politics (Easton 1965; Deutsch 1963), both of which emphasize the importance of popular control of policymaking institutions. Political science research also shows a good amount of correspondence between opinion and policy, though to varying degrees, across a range of policy domains and political institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere. This is of obvious significance.Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2006 Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, at the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties specialist group, Nottingham, England, and at the 2007 National Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago. We thank Vinod Menon for assistance with data collection and Kevin Arceneaux, Suzie DeBoef, Harold Clarke, Peter Enns, Mark Franklin, Martin Gilens, John Griffin, Will Jennings, Rich Joslyn, Benjamin Page, David Sanders, David Weakliem, John Zaller, and the anonymous reviewers for comments.

Type
FEATURES
Copyright
© 2008 The American Political Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Althaus, Scott L. 2003. Collective Preferences in Democratic Politics: Opinion Surveys and the Will of the People. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bartels, Larry M. 2005. “Economic Inequality and Political Representation.” Unpublished manuscript. Princeton University.
Bartels, Larry M. 2006. “Is the Water Rising? Reflections on Inequality and American Democracy.” PS: Political Science and Politics 39 (January): 3942.Google Scholar
Beitz, Charles. 1990. Political Equality: An Essay in Democratic Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berinsky, Adam J. 2004. Silent Voices: Public Opinion and Political Participation in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Birch, Anthony. 1971. Representation. New York: Praeger.
Brehm, John. 1993. The Phantom Respondents: Opinion Surveys and Political Representation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Brooks, Clem, and Jeff Manza. 2006. “Social Policy Responsiveness in Advanced Democracies.” American Sociological Review 71: 47494.Google Scholar
Brooks, J. E. 1987. “The Opinion-Policy Nexus in France: Do Institutions and Ideology Make a Difference?Journal of Politics 49: 46580.Google Scholar
Burstein, Paul. 1998. “Bringing the Public Back in.” Social Forces 77: 2762.Google Scholar
Converse, Philip. 1962. “Information Flow and the Stability of Partisan Attitudes.” Public Opinion Quarterly 26: 57899.Google Scholar
Dahl, Robert A. 1956. A Preface to Democratic Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dahl, Robert A. 1971. Polyarchy. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Deutsch, Karl. 1963. Nerves of Government. New York: Free Press.
Easton, David. 1965. A Framework for Political Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Edelman, Murray. 1964. The Symbolic Uses of Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Edelman, Murray. 1985. “Political Language and Political Reality.” PS: Political Science and Politics 18 (1): 109.Google Scholar
Enns, Peter K. 2006. “The Uniform Nature of Opinion Change.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, Philadelphia.
Erikson, Robert S., Gerald C. Wright, and John P. McIver. 1995. Statehouse Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Fenno, Richard F. Jr. 1978. Home Style: House Members in Their Districts. Boston: Little, Brown.
Gilens, Martin. 2004. “Public Opinion and Democratic Responsiveness: Who Gets What They Want From Government?Social Inequality Working Paper, Russell Sage Foundation.
Gilens, Martin. 2005. “Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness.” Public Opinion Quarterly 69: 77896.Google Scholar
Griffin, John D., and Brian Newman. 2005. “Are Voters Better Represented?Journal of Politics 67: 120627.Google Scholar
Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon.
Hill, Kim Quaile, and Patricia A. Hurley. 1998. “Dyadic Representation Reappraised.” American Journal of Political Science 43: 10937.Google Scholar
Hill, Kim Quaile, and Patricia A. Hurley. 2003. “Beyond the Demand-Input Model: A Theory of Representational Linkages.” Journal of Politics 65 (2): 30426.Google Scholar
Hobolt, Sara B., and Robert Klemmensen. 2005. “Responsive Government? Public Opinion and Government Preferences in Britain and Denmark.” Political Studies 53: 379402.Google Scholar
Hutchings, Vincent L. 2003. Public Opinion and Democratic Accountability: How Citizens Learn about Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jacobs, Lawrence R., and Benjamin I. Page. 2005. “Who Influences U.S. Foreign Policy?American Political Science Review 99: 10723.Google Scholar
Jacobs, Lawrence R., and Robert Y. Shapiro. 2000. Politicians Don't Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Manza, Jeff, and Fay Lomax Cook. 2002. “Policy Responsiveness to Public Opinion: The State of the Debate.” In Navigating Public Opinion: Polls, Policy, and the Future of American Democracy, eds. Jeff Manza, Fay Lomax Cook, and Benjamin I. Page. New York: Oxford University Press.
McCrone, Donald J., and James H. Kuklinski. 1979. “The Delegate Theory of Representation.” American Journal of Political Science 23: 278300.Google Scholar
Miller, Warren E., and Donald E. Stokes. 1963. “Constituency Influence in Congress.” American Political Science Review 57: 4556.Google Scholar
Monroe, Alan. 1979. “Consistency between Constituency Preferences and National Policy Decisions.” American Politics Quarterly 12: 319.Google Scholar
Page, Benjamin I., and Robert Y. Shapiro. 1992. The Rational Public. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Petry, F. 1999. “The Opinion-Policy Relationship in Canada.” Journal of Politics 61: 54050.Google Scholar
Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Schumaker, Paul D., and Russell W. Getter. 1977. “Responsiveness Bias in 51 American Communities.” American Journal of Political Science 21 (42): 24781.Google Scholar
Soroka, Stuart N., and Christopher Wlezien. 2004. “Opinion Representation and Policy Feedback: Canada in Comparative Perspective.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 37: 53159.Google Scholar
Soroka, Stuart N., and Christopher Wlezien. 2005. “Opinion-Policy Dynamics: Public Preferences and Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom.” British Journal of Political Science 35: 66589.Google Scholar
Stimson, James A., Michael B. MacKuen, and Robert S. Erikson. 1995. “Dynamic Representation.” American Political Science Review 89: 54365.Google Scholar
Ura, Joseph, and Christopher Ellis. N.d.Income, Preferences, and the Dynamics of Policy Responsiveness.” PS: Political Science and Politics. Forthcoming.
Weakliem, David. 2003. “Public Opinion Research and Political Sociology.” Research in Political Sociology 12: 4980.Google Scholar
Weaver, R. Kent, Robert Y. Shapiro, and Lawrence R. Jacobs. 1995. “Trends: Welfare.” Public Opinion Quarterly 59: 60627.Google Scholar
Weissberg, Robert. 1976. Public Opinion and Popular Government. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Wlezien, Christopher. 1995. “The Public as Thermostat: Dynamics of Preferences for Spending.” American Journal of Political Science 39: 9811000.Google Scholar
Wlezien, Christopher. 1996. “Dynamics of Representation: The Case of U.S. Spending on Defense.” British Journal of Political Science 26: 81103.Google Scholar
Wlezien, Christopher. 2004. “Patterns of Representation: Dynamics of Public Preferences and Policy.” Journal of Politics 66: 124.Google Scholar
61
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

On the Limits to Inequality in Representation
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

On the Limits to Inequality in Representation
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

On the Limits to Inequality in Representation
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *