Research Areas

Policy Responsiveness

Does government policy respond to public opinion? How is responsiveness conditioned by bicameralism and economic performance?


Ezrow, Lawrence, Michele Fenzl, and Timothy Hellwig. Forthcoming. “Bicameralism and Policy Responsiveness to Public Opinion.” Forthcoming in American Journal of Political Science.

Ezrow, Lawrence, Timothy Hellwig, and Michele Fenzl. 2020. “Responsiveness, If You Can Afford It: Policy Responsiveness in Good and Bad Economic Times.” Journal of Politics 82(3): 1166-1170. (PDF)

Party Policy Diffusion

How do parties’ policies diffuse across national borders? Do parties follow successful parties in other countries? Do parties gain votes when they emulate successful parties abroad? Does party policy diffusion occur more readily within some party families than others (e.g. Social Democratic Parties)? Does clarity of responsibility enhance the visibility of governing parties’ policies?


Böhmelt, Tobias, Lawrence Ezrow, Roni Lehrer, and Hugh Ward. 2016. “Party Policy Diffusion.” American Political Science Review 110(2): 397-410.  (PDF)

Senninger, Roman, Daniel Bischof, and Lawrence Ezrow. 2022. “How Transnational Party Alliances Influence National Parties’ Policies.” Political Science Research and Methods 10(3): 651-658. (PDF)

Ezrow, Lawrence, Tobias Böhmelt, Roni Lehrer, and Hugh Ward. 2021. “Follow the Foreign Leader? Why Following Foreign Incumbents is an Effective Electoral Strategy.” Party Politics 27(4): 716-729. (PDF)

Schleiter, Petra, Tobias Böhmelt, Lawrence Ezrow, and Roni Lehrer. 2021. “Social Democratic Party Exceptionalism and Transnational Policy Linkages.” World Politics 73(3): 512-544. (PDF)

Böhmelt, Tobias, Lawrence Ezrow, Roni Lehrer, Petra Schleiter, and Hugh Ward. 2017. “Why Dominant Governing Parties Are Cross-Nationally Influential.” International Studies Quarterly 61(4): 749-759.  (PDF)

Lehrer, Roni, Lawrence Ezrow, Tobias Böhmelt, and Hugh Ward. 2017. “Intra-Party Democracy and Responsiveness to Rival Parties’ Policies.” Social Science Quarterly 98(3): 1026-1044. (PDF)

Voter Turnout

When political parties are (un)responsive to public opinion, does voter turnout (increase) decrease? Are increases in satisfaction with democracy associated with decreases in turnout?


Ezrow, Lawrence, and Werner Krause. Forthcoming. “Voter Turnout Decline and Party Responsiveness.” Forthcoming in British Journal of Political Science. (PDF)

Ezrow, Lawrence, and Georgios Xezonakis. 2016. “Satisfaction with Democracy and Voter Turnout: A Temporal Perspective.” Party Politics 22(1): 3-14.  (PDF)

Citizen Perceptions of Party Positions

Do citizens update their positions of parties’ policy positions when they change (or not)? What types of sources do voters use to update their perceptions of parties’ policies (for example, the media? How do parties use governing coalition arrangements to update their perceptions of parties’ policies? manifestos?)


Adams, James, Lawrence Ezrow, and Zeynep Somer-Topcu. 2011. “Is Anybody Listening? Evidence That Voters Do Not Respond to European Parties’ Policy Statements During Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 55(2): 370-382. (PDF)

·   2011 Best Article Award in the American Journal of Political Science

Adams, James, Lawrence Ezrow, and Zeynep Somer-Topcu. 2014. “Do Voters Respond to Party Manifestos or to a Wider Information Environment? An Analysis of Mass-Elite Linkages on European Integration.” American Journal of Political Science 58(4): 967-978. (PDF)

Adams, James, Lawrence Ezrow, and Christopher Wlezien. 2016. “The Company You Keep: How Voters Infer Party Positions on European Integration from Governing Coalition Arrangements.” American Journal of Political Science 60(4): 811-823. (PDF)

Subconstituency Representation

Who do European parties represent? Are the policies that parties advocate responsive to all segments or subconstituencies within the electorate (defined by affluence, education, political involvement, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, etc), or alternatively, do parties respond to particular groups in society at the expense of others? Addressing these questions uncovers dynamics of political representation in established democracies, and, more specifically, evaluates the extent to which these democracies exhibit representational equality (or inequality).    

Related papers:

Adams, James, and Lawrence Ezrow. 2009. “Who do European Parties Represent? How Western European Parties Represent the Policy Preferences of Opinion Leaders.” Journal of Politics 71(1): 206-223. (PDF

Ezrow, Lawrence, Catherine E. De Vries, Marco Steenbergen, and Erica E. Edwards. 2011. “Mean Voter Representation and Partisan Constituency Representation: Do Parties Respond to the Mean Voter Position or to their Supporters?” Party Politics 17(3): 275-301. (PDF

Polarization and Measurement

DATA (Excel): polarization/dispersion

Equations (Word): polarization documentation

Related Papers using measures:

Ezrow, Lawrence. 2008. “Parties’ Policy Programmes and the Dog that Didn’t Bark: No Evidence that Proportional Systems Promote Extreme Party Positioning.” British Journal of Political Science 38(3): 479-497. (PDF) [Data in appendix]

Ezrow, Lawrence. 2007. “The Variance Matters: How Party Systems Represent the Preferences of Voters.” Journal of Politics 69(1): 182-192.(PDF)

Ezrow, Lawrence, and Georgios Xezonakis. 2011. “Citizen Satisfaction with Democracy and Parties’ Policy Offerings.” Comparative Political Studies 44(9): 1152-1178. (PDF)

Additional papers related to polarization:

Ezrow, Lawrence, Jonathan Homola, and Margit Tavits. 2014. “When Extremism Pays: Policy Positions, Voter Certainty, and Party Support in Postcommunist Europe.” Journal of Politics 76(2): 535-547.

Ezrow, Lawrence, Margit Tavits, and Jonathan Homola. 2014. “Voter Polarization, Strength of Partisanship, and Support for Extreme Parties.” Comparative Political Studies 47(11): 1558-1583.