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Disenchantment and Dealignment: The Individual-Level Effects of Public‐Party Incongruence

Ryan Bakker, director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues at the University of Georgia, gives a talk on factors contributing to an erosion of democratic norms, dissatisfaction with democracy, and anti‐establishment politics.

Apr 27, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM

Kerr 693

Abstract: The apparent inability of mainstream politicians and parties to represent the people is a threat to the party system and an opportunity for anti‐establishment parties on the left and right. In this paper, we use multiple measures of party‐partisan incongruence to evaluate whether issue‐level incongruence contributes to an erosion of democratic norms, dissatisfaction with democracy, and anti‐establishment politics. We also evaluate alternative hypotheses, such as socioeconomic structural changes, economic crises, and changing demographics. For this analysis, we use data from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) and public opinion data from the European Election Study (EES). Our findings have implications for how electoral politics play out in different European settings and for normative concerns about the quality of political representation across various political contexts.

Ryan Bakker is an associate professor of political science and director of the Then Center for the Study of Global Issues at the University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 2007. Dr. Bakker's substantive research focuses on the dimensionality of party systems and electoral politics in the European Union and, more generally, on measurement, dimensional scaling, and expert survey design.