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Federalism and Public Responsiveness to Policy

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  • Christopher Wlezien
  • Stuart N. Soroka

Abstract

Public responsiveness to government policy is a crucial component of representative democracy, but may be far weaker in federal regimes. This article explores the consequences of federalism for public responsiveness in one highly federalized policy domain: welfare spending in Canada. Results suggest that citizens' preferences for spending at the federal level are affected by changes in both federal and provincial spending, and to an equal degree; they suggest, in short, that federalism poses serious problems where public responsiveness is concerned. A concluding section considers the implications of these findings for the representation of public opinion in policy in federalized states. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Wlezien & Stuart N. Soroka, 2011. "Federalism and Public Responsiveness to Policy," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 31-52, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:41:y:2011:i:1:p:31-52
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/publius/pjq025
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    Cited by:

    1. James Alm & Robert D. Buschman & David L. Sjoquist, 0. "Citizen "Trust" as an Explanation of State Education Funding to Local School Districts," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 636-661.

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