Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy
Ideological congruence is an important and popular measure of the quality of political representation. The closer the match between the preferences of the public and those of elected elites, the better representative democracy is thought to function. Relatively little attention has been paid however to the effects of ideological congruence on political judgement. We address this gap by examining whether citizens use egocentric or sociotropic judgments of congruence to evaluate democratic performance. Using a variety of congruence measures, we find that citizens are unmoved by sociotropic congruence; however, our analyses provide clear evidence that egocentric congruence boosts citizen satisfaction, especially among political sophisticates. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the study of ideological congruence and political representation.
Mayne, Quinton, and Armen Hakhverdian. "Ideological Congruence and Citizen Satisfaction: Evidence from 25 Advanced Democracies." Comparative Political Studies 50.6 (May 2017): 822-849.