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The European Union democratic deficit: substantive representation in the European Parliament at the input stage


  • Sorace, Miriam


The analysis compares voters' preferences in economic policy to political parties' economic written parliamentary questions during the 2009–2014 term of the European Parliament. The corpus of over 55,000 written questions was ideologically scaled via crowdsourcing. The analysis shows that parties are unresponsive to second-order and to disengaged voters. The results also suggest that there is no upper class bias in European Parliament political representation. The data highlight a strong tendency of EP7 political parties to cluster around the position of the average European voter, at the expense of their average supporter. The democratic deficit is therefore at most a pluralism deficit in the European Parliament, since substantive representation in the European Parliament is successful as far as the majoritarian norm is concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • Sorace, Miriam, 2018. "The European Union democratic deficit: substantive representation in the European Parliament at the input stage," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87625, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:87625

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benoit, Kenneth & Conway, Drew & Lauderdale, Benjamin E. & Laver, Michael & Mikhaylov, Slava, 2016. "Crowd-sourced Text Analysis: Reproducible and Agile Production of Political Data," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 278-295, May.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    3. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Ovádek & Nicolas Lampach & Arthur Dyevre, 2020. "What’s the talk in Brussels? Leveraging daily news coverage to measure issue attention in the European Union," European Union Politics, , vol. 21(2), pages 204-232, June.

    More about this item


    crowdsourcing; democratic deficits; European Parliament; European Union; political representation;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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