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Parliamentary representation: a cross-national study of candidates' views

Sudulich, Laura; Trumm, Siim; Bridgewater, Jack


Laura Sudulich

Siim Trumm

Jack Bridgewater


This study explores political elites’ self-conceptualisation of parliamentary representation by using data on nearly 7,000 candidates encompassing eighteen elections in fifteen countries. We examine the relevance of institutional features, closeness to the sources of representatives’ mandates, party family, as well as candidates’ personal characteristics, with a modelling strategy that accommodates the understanding of role orientation as a two-stage process. We posit that choosing between being loyal to a party or to voters is not equivalent to prioritising one’s own agency in the first place, and suggest that self-conceptualisation of parliamentary representation happens in two different stages. We find that individual-level characteristics such as gender and ideological proximity to one’s party, but also party family, play a key role in shaping views on authority versus independence. The effects of political environment and institutions are limited to shaping a choice between responding to one’s party or constituents.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 13, 2019
Journal Parliamentary Affairs
Print ISSN 0031-2290
Electronic ISSN 1460-2482
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Sudulich, L., Trumm, S., & Bridgewater, J. (2019). Parliamentary representation: a cross-national study of candidates' views. Parliamentary Affairs, doi:10.1093/pa/gsz009
Keywords Representation; Political elites; Role perception; Delegate; Trustee; Partisan
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Parliamentary Affairs following peer review. The version of record Laura Sudulich, Siim Trumm, Jack Bridgewater; Parliamentary Representation: A Cross-national Study of Candidates’ Views, Parliamentary Affairs, , gsz009, is available online at: