Listening to the Government: How Information Shapes Responsibility Attributions

Listening to the Government: How Information Shapes Responsibility Attributions Assigning credit and blame in systems of multilevel government, such as federal states, requires information. This paper examines how voters respond to information about policy outcomes when attributing responsibility to multiple levels of government in a European context. Using an experimental design, we show that the responsibility attributions of British voters are affected by perceptual biases, notably their feelings about the government and the European Union (EU). But interestingly, we also find that voters, regardless of their predispositions, are only responsive to information they receive from their national government, whereas they ignore information provided by EU officials. These findings have implications not only for our understanding of attribution in systems of multiple levels of government, but also for how voters use information selectively depending on the credibility of the source. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Listening to the Government: How Information Shapes Responsibility Attributions

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-011-9183-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Assigning credit and blame in systems of multilevel government, such as federal states, requires information. This paper examines how voters respond to information about policy outcomes when attributing responsibility to multiple levels of government in a European context. Using an experimental design, we show that the responsibility attributions of British voters are affected by perceptual biases, notably their feelings about the government and the European Union (EU). But interestingly, we also find that voters, regardless of their predispositions, are only responsive to information they receive from their national government, whereas they ignore information provided by EU officials. These findings have implications not only for our understanding of attribution in systems of multiple levels of government, but also for how voters use information selectively depending on the credibility of the source.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 17, 2011

References

  • Economic voting and multilevel governance: A comparative individual-level analysis
    Anderson, C
  • The federal face of voting: Are elected officials held accountable for the functions relevant to their office?
    Arceneaux, K

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