DEMOCRACY AND REPRESENTATION FOR PUBLIC GOODS How democracies create conditions for provisions of public goods
Abstract: Purpose. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate if it is reasonable that democracies create conditions for provisions of public goods. Democracies are argued to create conditions for public goods provisions by aggregating citizens preferences through representation. But there is little empirical evidence in the literature that citizens preferences are represented in democracies. Hence, the research question: are citizens preferences represented by political representative actors in democracies? Methods. Climate change mitigation policies are used as a case for public goods in this thesis. Citizens’ preferences about whether they consider climate change a serious world problem are compared with how much parties devote to environmental protection in their party manifestos using a cross-section panel data analysis with fixed effects estimators. Climate change mitigation policies are argued to be found within the concept of environmental protection. Results. A significant positive relationship is presented between citizens’ climate change preferences with one-year lag and how much parties devote to environmental protection in party manifestos the same year as elections. Conclusion. With the findings, it appears realistic that citizens preferences are represented by political representative actors in democracies and with the theory in mind it appears reasonable that democracies create conditions for public goods provisions.
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