To what extent are democratic governments responsive to citizens’ demands and preferences between elections? Are governments more likely to be responsive to the interpretation of public opinion through surveys or to collective and publicly expressed opinion – often in the form of protests? When does one or the other type of expression prevail as a mechanism to foster governmental responsiveness? These are some of the questions the ResponsiveGov project will try to answer by developing a comparative study of governmental responsiveness in established democracies between 1980 and 2010.
ResponsiveGov is a seven-year (2011-2018) research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under its 7th Framework Programme (FP7). FP7 is the EU funding programme for research and technological development, and runs for seven years (2007 to 2013). ResponsiveGov runs for seven years from 2011 to 2018 and was initiated using a ‘starting grant’ under the Ideas programme included in the FP7 framework of funding. Researchers and staff are based within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester.