A growing number of voters in Europe abstain from their right to vote in democratic elections. Most of them are citizens with low socio-economic status. The gap in political participation is most pronounced in countries with high levels of income inequality
So why do these people stop voting? Some of them explain that politicians don't care about them anyway. But is that really true? Armin Schäfer, a political scientist from Germany, took a closer look at the numbers in Germany and found the answer. He shared his results at a research seminar at the institute last autumn.
In short, the answer is yes. When studying policy responsiveness, Armin finds that politicians are more apt to go with the choices of the rich rather than those of the less fortuned. He also talked about democratic anger as a result of this situation.
Listen to this interview with Armin, by sociologist Stefan Svallfors.