Scully, Roger. (2001) "Understanding constituency representation in the European Parliament". In: UNSPECIFIED, Madison, Wisconsin. (Unpublished)
This paper addresses an important aspect of political representation in the context of the European Union's elected institution, the European Parliament. Our focus of attention is the "active" representation of constituent interests. This is a crucial dimension of the representative process, but one about which our knowledge remains under-developed. We argue that study of this phenomenon in the European context may both inform us about important aspects of representatives' behavior in the EU, and in addition permit insights into the forms of, and motivations behind, constituency representation that are of wider theoretical importance. We outline a research design, incorporating cross-national and cross-temporal components, that offers the potential to advance beyond limitations inherent to previous research in this area. Then, drawing on a recent survey of European Parliament members, we present some initial results from the cross-national elements of our work. The results reinforce the need for further investigation of potential structural, cultural and individual motivation behind patterns of constituency representation.
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