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date: 26 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Great Recession and the Eurozone crisis are frequently treated as having led to a breakdown in democratic representation in Europe, as deeply constrained governments became unable to translate the preferences of citizenry into actual policy. However, after reviewing the available evidence, we find that the crisis seems to have contributed to increasing both the salience of economic policy issues and the ideological differentiation around them, amongst both parties and voters. Furthermore, the composition of governments remained relevant for the policy responses to the crisis, even among those countries that were most deeply affected. To be sure, the picture regarding the extent to which governments remained responsive to changing citizen preferences remains very incomplete. However, the existing evidence warns against underestimating the resilience of the mechanisms that contribute to keep re-election-minded officials in line with the preferences of citizens, even in what concerns supranational policymaking.

Keywords: European integration, Eurozone crisis, globalization, Great Recession, policy representation, policy responsiveness

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