Economic performance and center-periphery conflicts in party competition

Pardos-Prado, S. and Sagarzazu, I. (2019) Economic performance and center-periphery conflicts in party competition. Party Politics, 25(1), pp. 50-62. (doi: 10.1177/1354068818816978)

178668.pdf - Accepted Version



The reasons pushing parties to politicize noneconomic dimensions of competition, and the consequences of this for the representation of public opinion, are badly understood in the party competition literature. This is a pressing research gap, especially given the recent and significant reactivation of territorial or center-periphery conflicts in Western Europe. In this article, we first argue that bad macroeconomic performance increases the incentives of incumbent parties to deviate the attention toward territorial conflicts in order to avoid electoral punishment. Second, we also argue that the opposite is true for public opinion: it is precisely during periods of bad economic performance and high economic concern, when the electorate moves away from territorial interests. The dynamic emerging from our findings is thus far from an ideal bottom-up representation: elites divert the attention toward territorial conflicts to mask periods of poor economic performance, which is precisely when public opinion is less interested in center-periphery issues. We validate our claims using text analysis of party attention in Spain and time series models covering four electoral cycles (1996–2011).

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sagarzazu, Dr Inaki and Pardos-Prado, Professor Sergi
Authors: Pardos-Prado, S., and Sagarzazu, I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Party Politics
ISSN (Online):1460-3683
Published Online:15 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Party Politics 25(1):50-62
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record