Representing Society? Development of Austrian Party-Voter Issue Salience in Social Policy

Main Article Content

Carmen Walenta-Bergmann
Felix Wohlgemuth



In representative democracies citizens hand over responsibility to parties, which represent their interests in policy-making. Current socioeconomic and political developments might foster declining quality of representation. We analyse the state of substantive representation of social policy issues in Austria and ask: How do voters and parties assess the importance of different social policy issues? How does the fit of voters’ and parties’ issue salience develop over time? Comparing the supply and demand side of social policy issue saliences between 2009 and 2019, we unexpectedly find convergence. Austrian parties and voters show more similar relative importance of social policy areas over time. Variations in issue saliences are partly explained by the material and sociocultural values of disaggregated social policy areas.

Abstract 0 | PDF (English) Downloads 0