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Why Policy Representation Matters
The consequences of ideological proximity between citizens and their governments
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"Curini, Jou, and Memoli's carefully and thoroughly researched book answers an enormously important, yet previously unstudied, question: how does the quality of representation in a democracy affect citizens' participation, satisfaction in that democracy and happiness. Through systematic analysis of 180,000 respondents in 46 countries they show the persistently virtuous power of the "divine middle": centrist governments inspire citizens' greatest belief and satisfaction in democracy, while also affecting participation and life satisfaction." -Robert J. FRANZESE, Jr., Professor, Department of Political Science, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor "Whether you agree or not that the "left-right scale" is an effective measure to assess policy distance between citizens and their governments, you will enjoy this book. With a well-balanced review of existing literature in the field, a careful operationalization of concepts, and beautiful illustrative representations of their empirical evidence, you will find that the ideological proximity of citizens to their governments is crucial to understanding democratic representation." -Yoshitaka NISHIZAWA, Professor, Political Science Department, Doshisha University, Kyoto "A truly innovative approach to the measurement of congruence between citizens and democratic governments. An evidence-based praise for "centrist governments", that will be surely discussed at length." -Luca VERZICHELLI, Professor, Department of Social, Poitical and Cognitive Sciences, University of Siena
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Luigi Curini is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan. His research centers on the spatial theory of voting, party competition and social media analysis. His articles have appeared in, among others, the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, West European Politics, Electoral Studies and Comparative Political Studies. Willy Jou is Assistant Professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. His research interests include public opinion, party systems, and ideology, with particular emphasis on new democracies. His articles have been published in Asian Survey, British Journal of Political Science, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, International Political Science Review, Party Politics, and other peer-reviewed journals. Vincenzo Memoli is Assistant Professor at the University of Catania. His main research interests include democracy, public attitudes and public opinion. His articles have appeared in the Acta Politica, British Journal of Political Science, International Political Science Review, Governance, The International Journal of Press/Politics and West European Politics.
Introduction 1. Measuring ideological proximity 2. Ideological proximity and political participation 3. Ideological proximity and support for democracy 4. Ideological proximity and individual happiness Conclusion