Rethinking Individual Representation 2013-2015

This is the website of the project PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0644, 'Rethinking Individual Representation: Campaign Personalization and Legislative Behavior'
Contract no. 87/02.09.2013

The director of the project is Assistant Professsor Dr. Marina Popescu.

Financing institution: Ministry of National Education, CNCS – UEFISCDI

Hosting institution: Lucian Blaga University from Sibiu

The project addresses a fundamental question for democracy, namely whether there is a link between candidates’ election campaigns and legislative behaviour. Firstly, a fundamental principle of democratic representation requires a congruence between election pledges and subsequent political behaviour, in terms of national policy positions and of constituency service. Secondly, candidate campaign strategies in single member districts are likely to have different levels of personalisation and such differences translate into different political behaviour of MPs. More personalized campaigns will lead to more voting dissent and to increased district-centered non-legislative behaviour, possibly mediated by the different channels of election and perceived election chances or possibly differing by party and by the nature and amount of the campaign funding. Our major original contribution will be to link, a comprehensive picture of campaigning (style and substance) with parliamentary behavioral and attitudinal data using a multi method research design. We look at the information environment as delimited by parties and their candidates (candidate survey), by media (content analysis) and as perceived and processed by voters (experimental surveys and focus groups). For parliamentary behaviour and attitudinal data we collect roll-call and parliamentary questions data and we will conduct a survey targeting MPs on categories corresponding to the campaign styles they adopted as candidates. 

  • To devise a theoretical and conceptual framework for the ways in which personalized campaigning can influence legislative behaviour. 
  • To assess the degree of campaign individualization in Romania, its correlates and its determinants 
  • To systematically collect data on the legislative and non-legislative behaviour of the MPs elected in 2012 
  • To test empirically a set of innovative arguments linking campaign individualization and legislative behaviour 
  • To disseminate the project’s results within the relevant academic and research communities as well as to the general public 
  • To provide an efficient management of the project 

Dr. Marina Popescu
Dr. Gabor Toka
Dr. Andrei Gheorghita
Dr. Cristina Stanus
Dr. Aurelian Muntean
Dr. Mihail Chiru
Dr. Alin Croitoru

This work was supported by a grant of the Ministry of National Education, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0644