How Clientelistic Parties Go Programmatic: The Strategic Logic of Responsiveness in a Least Likely Case (the AKP of Turkey)

Bulut A. T.

COMPARATIVE POLITICS, vol.52, no.2, pp.333-357, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5129/001041520x15669496178186
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, American History and Life, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Administration Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.333-357
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Policymakers in democratic systems are expected to respond to the issue preferences of citizens and fulfill their electoral mandate as this responsiveness is central to democratic theory. Most empirical research on opinion-policy/program-policy linkage found a significant relationship between opinion and policy as well as program and policy. However, these studies have concentrated on a few developed Western countries with programmatic party systems. I focus on an emerging democracy with a highly clientelistic party system, Turkey, and address the following questions: Are policymakers' priorities driven by public opinion? Do parties take into account their electoral mandate in the legislature? To answer these questions, I use a novel dataset of parliamentary activities and public priorities in Turkey. I also offer an alternative method to measure party priorities which proves superior to the currently used measures.