Research event

Toward responsive governance: National elections and European cooperation

A talk by Christina Schneider (Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of California, San Diego).

An initiative of the Political Economy Research Cluster at the Hertie School as part of the Samples and Sandwiches Research Lunch.

Intergovernmental organisations play a vital role in countries around the world, but little is known about the extent to which government behavior in these IOs is responsive to their national constituents. This paper analyses whether and how European governments signal responsiveness to their national electorates when they cooperate in the European Union. I test the empirical implications of my theory using data on the bargaining behavior and negotiation success of the 28 EU members in European legislative negotiations, and original data from a survey experiment in Germany. The findings suggest that EU governments are more likely to defend positions that favor their domestic constituents, and they will bargain harder to achieve successful negotiation outcomes, especially prior to national elections. Voters respond favorably to these signals of responsiveness. They prefer politicians who take their favoured positions on policy issues, defend these positions, and who shift the final outcomes closer to the favoured position. The results demonstrate that EU governments are responsive to their citizens' views even when electoral accountability is low. 

Prior registration is not required.