What Citizens Think Councillors Ought to do as Representatives and how these Normative Expectations Affect Citizens' Satisfaction with Councillors?

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Scholarly knowledge about considerations underlying citizens’ evaluations of the role of municipal councillors as democratic representatives is scant. In this paper we begin filling this gap. On the basis of a representative survey amongst 500 Dutch citizens we first establish what citizens feel that representatives should do (normative expectations). Subsequently, we analyse how such expectations affect citizens’ satisfaction with the actual performance of councillors as representatives. This paper’s results help in understanding the reasons why people are (dis)satisfied with their local democratic representatives and the backgrounds of confidence in municipal councils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-801
JournalLex Localis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • local democracy
  • political representation
  • municipal council
  • political confidence

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