The Impact of Economic Crises on Political Represen tation in Public Communi cation: Evidence from the Eurozone.

British Journal of Political Science (forthcoming)

External threats such as war have been shown to disrupt representation as politicians "put politics aside" and cooperate across cleavages. In this paper, I study whether a severe economic crisis can have a similar effect. To do so, I introduce a new approach that provides a spatial representation of how political parties represent societal actors in their public interactions, based on more than 140,000 machine-coded news events from 11 Eurozone countries between 2001 and 2011. I show that in bad economic times there is a compression of political representation: Parties' relationships with the societal groups they are closest to become less cooperative, while their relationships with the groups they are least close to become less conflictual.

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