Theoretical and Empirical Advances in the Study of Promissory Representation
Panel, American Political Science Association Annual Meeting and Exhibition, 2022
The papers in this panel present some of the latest advances in the field and include new theories and evidence on why parties make different kinds of promises, the conditions under which promises are kept and broken, and the electoral consequences of election pledges.
The first paper by Frank Rindert Algra-Maschio, Sonam Thomas and Robert Thomson, Keeping Election Campaign Promises When the Unexpected Happens, advances a theory of how unexpected events, economic or natural disasters such as the COVID pandemic, shape the ability of government parties to fulfill election pledges.
The paper by Christian Arnold, Hannah Dorothy Bechara and Slava Jankin Mikhaylov, Election Pledges and the Politics of the Psychological Distance, also engages in theory-building by bringing in insights from political psychology to assess how the rhetorical distance that politicians use affects pledge fulfillment.
The third paper in this panel, Promises Kept, Promises Broken, and Those Caught in the Middle by Tabitha Bonilla, also applies concepts from political psychology at the level of voters to demonstrate that voters have a nuanced understanding of promises made by candidates.
The final paper, Pledge-Making by US Political Parties: A Longitudinal Study by E.J. Fagan and Petia A. Kostadinova, uses longitudinal data from the United States to test the notion that pledge-making has increased over time. Further, they bring in concepts from political discourse (polarization) and political psychology (in-group preferences) to the forefront in explanations about pledge-making.
Taken together, the four papers in this panel extend CPP concepts, develop new theoretical expectations, and present newly collected data from Australia, Scotland, Sweden, and the United States.