• banner-democracy.jpg
  • abstimmung.jpg
  • demo.jpg
  • fernsehen.jpg
  • rede.jpg
  • rede-2.jpg
  • brandenburgertor.jpg
  • nelsonmandela.jpg
  • 9-11.jpg
  • demo-2.jpg
  • banner-02.jpg

Responsiveness – to whom? Why the primacy of the median voter alienates minorities

Many see responsiveness towards the majority as sufficient for democracy because no other policy position receives more support. By contrast, I argue that the primacy of the majority is normatively and empirically problematic. From a normative point of view a ‘good’ democracy not only needs to maximise the influence of the majority but must also protect minorities against oppression by the majority population. These two goals are difficult to reconcile when majorities and minorities have different policy preferences. From an empirical point of view, a lack of policy responsiveness towards minorities has real empirical consequences as it may endanger the legitimacy and stability of a democracy by decreasing the political support of minority groups. The empirical analyses with 28 minority groups confirm the risks of a lack of policy responsiveness: minorities exhibit less political support than majorities, partly because responsiveness towards them is lower.

Project Number Democracy Barometer
Author(s) Hänni, Miriam
Series/Publication Political Studies 65(3)
Year 2017
Pages 665-684
URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0032321716680376
Document Actions