Comparative Politics Research Group: “Who Polarizes Parliament? Partisan Hostility in Norwegian Legislative Debates” – Maiken Røed
Maiken Røed will present a paper on “Who Polarizes Parliament? Partisan Hostility in Norwegian Legislative Debates”, co-authored with Hanna Bäck and Royce Carroll. As usual, the seminar will be on Tuesday (Sept. 27) from 12:00 (sharp) to 13:00.
Who Polarizes Parliament? Partisan Hostility in Norwegian Legislative Debates
Many democratic societies are increasingly characterized by hostility and bias toward supporters of opposing parties. This type of intergroup distancing between the voter’s own party and other parties – affective polarization – has been suggested to be driven by strengthening group identification. Less is known about the prevalence and reasons for this type of affective polarization among political elites.
We contribute to this nascent field on elite-level affective polarization by studying when members of parliament (MPs) distance themselves from other parties’ representatives by explicitly expressing negative sentiments towards other parties in their legislative speeches. We specifically ask which MPs polarize in this way.
To answer this question, we focus on the impact of MP characteristics on their tendency to polarize in legislative speech. We hypothesize that careerist MPs, with little experience outside of their parliamentary party, and MPs who hold party leadership positions, are more likely to polarize in parliament. These MPs are likely to identify more strongly with their party and should have stronger incentives to express negative sentiments towards other parties.
Analyzing Norwegian MPs’ speeches between 1998-2016, we apply a domain-specific sentiment dictionary to speech texts where MPs mention another party. We find that careerist MPs and MPs who hold leadership positions are more likely to express negative sentiments towards other parties, supporting the idea that party identification drives partisan hostility in legislative debates.
The Comparative Politics Research Group covers all major research areas in the field, including institutions, democracy and political development, parties and voting behavior, political economy, political psychology, public opinion, and public policy.
We specialize in the politics of OECD countries, but many of us also do research on Eastern Europe, Latin America, and other regions. In recent years, we have developed strong research environments on the study of parties and party systems, polarization and radicalization, and historical political economy.