Governments more likely to be responsive when strong public opposition is voiced

Governments often ignore public opposition to their policies but they are far less likely to do so when public opinion is strongly and consistently expressed through surveys and on the streets, says a University of Leicester Politics expert.

Ongoing research by Professor Laura Morales from the Department of Politics and International Relations suggests that democratic governments are more likely to yield to public pressures against their policies when both surveys and protests send unequivocal signals that unresponsive behaviour will risk alienating voters on election day.

She will be presenting her research undertaken within the ResponsiveGov project, funded by the European Research Council, at her Professorial Inaugural Lecture on 17 February entitled ‘Governmental Responsiveness to Public Demands between Elections: A Research Agenda’, where she will illustrate findings with two contrasting examples of governmental responsiveness: nuclear energy policy after the Fukushima disaster and the policy making process aimed at regulating internet piracy in around 20 Western democracies.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday 17 February from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Ken Edwards’ Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture is free and open to the public.