This article starts from the remarks by Peter Mair on the growing gap between responsiveness and responsibility – or middle-run responsiveness – and the declining capacity of parties to bridge that gap. It focuses on the empirical analysis of the association between economic and substantive democratic dimensions and responsiveness, which are highly relevant to the way in which parties compete and govern within contemporary democracies. Following an introduction of the topic, the second section puts forward key concepts and hypotheses; the third presents the operationalisation of the variables and the applied method; the fourth and primary empirical section of the article analyses the non-procedural determinants of political and economic responsiveness, including freedom and equality as well as several key economic structural factors. The concluding remarks recapitulate the main empirical findings and submit a number of aspects that party leaders ought to take into account when addressing the thorny issue of responsiveness.
Back to publications