- Research Project
Armen Hakhverdian is an associate professor in political science at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He received his BA at Leiden University and his MPhil and DPhil from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam he was Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His research is in the field of comparative politics with a focus on political representation, public opinion and social inequalities. His most recent research project “We the People: How Public Opinion towards Multiculturalism Shapes Political Outcomes” offers an examination of policy responsiveness to citizen preferences on immigration issues.
“We the People: How Public Opinion towards Multiculturalism Shapes Political Outcomes”
Public control over policy outcomes plays a central role in democratic government. It remains an open empirical question, however, whether or not public opinion actually shapes public policy. I therefore propose to analyze to what extent, how, and under which conditions public preferences shape policy outcomes in the Netherlands. I shall focus on the policy domain of multiculturalism for both its societal and academic relevance. The project not only seeks to establish whether election outcomes and policy emanate from public preferences, but also how and under which conditions public influence impacts policymakers. The ‘dynamic representation’ framework provides analytical tools to analyze the opinion-policy link. It states that the electorate shapes policy by selecting policymakers and by altering the behavior of policymakers in office. I attempt to refine this framework by incorporating issue salience and uprooting it from its majoritarian origins to the Dutch multiparty context.