A research note on accountability and institutional clarity: How two dimensions of clarity of responsibility moderate accountability mechanisms

Lisanne de Blok, Wouter van der Brug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Studies of economic voting have demonstrated that the relationship between citizens’ satisfaction with the economy and their support for government parties is conditional on the so-called ‘institutional clarity of responsibility’ of a country. So far, scholars have predominantly focused on power diffusion within a single level of government to study the role of (horizontal) institutional clarity. Yet, countries also differ substantially in the extent to which power is diffused between government levels. In this article, we argue that this vertical dimension of power diffusion can be expected to be an equally strong moderator of accountability mechanisms. Our findings show that performance-based support for governing parties is conditioned by both the horizontal and vertical diffusion of government power within a country and that the moderating influence of power diffusion on electoral accountability varies per policy area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864–877
Number of pages14
JournalActa Politica
Volume57
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Clarity of responsibility
  • Democratic accountability
  • Economic voting
  • Multilevel governance

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