Representation in times of crisis: MP-voter congruence over two visions of representation in Portugal
ECPR General Conference
Subsequent to the financial collapse in the US (2007-2008) and soon after the outbreak of the Greek sovereign debt crisis (beginning of 2010), Portugal was identified as a high-risk investment country. Other countries in Europe, such as Ireland, Spain, among others, although in a lesser extent, also suffer from economic or financial problems related to the downturn of the international economic climate, but as well related to its own internal market problems. Notwithstanding the origins of the problem, the economic crisis and underlying austerity measures in a significant number of European countries have had more or less visible consequences in the functioning of the political system. For example, it is known that there have been changes in the discourses of the political leaders, as well as in the channels and intensity of political participation (e.g. Blyth, 2013; Monastiriotis et al, 2013; Rüdig and Karyotis, 2013). However, the most relevant consequences might have potentially occurred in individuals’ political attitudes towards the political system, especially regarding the democratic regime and underlying mechanisms of representation. Literature suggests that, in fact, the economic conditions are closely interconnected with the functioning of democracy and with political representation (Schmidt, 2009; Lefkofridi et al., 2012). This panel aims at exploring the short-term political effects of the economic crisis on the functioning of the political system, especially focusing in topics such as the impact of the crisis in the regime support, and in the process of representation. The panel aims at including both case and comparative studies.
representation, crisis, Portugal