CES: Electoral Competition and the New Party Politics of Welfare State Recalibration


Friday, October 27, 2017, 2:15pm to 4:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Hoffmann Room, 27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA

** Please note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**

Ellen Immergut – Professor of Political Science, European University Institute

Katja Möhring – Assistant Professor for Sociology of the Welfare State, University of Mannheim, Germany; Visiting Scholar, CES, Harvard University


This paper investigates the impact of electoral competition on parties' willingness to recalibrate public pension programs. We argue that as electoral competition becomes more intense, electoral incentives require parties to emphasize vote maximization be more than their traditional policy goals. For left-of-center governments this means targeting progressive socio-cultural professionals over their traditional blue-collar clientele, while right-of center governments should focus on appeals to culturally conservative working class voters over their fiscally conservative core constituency.