Who should get a say? Race, law enforcement guidelines, and systems of representation
journal contributionposted on 2020-06-15, 13:24 authored by Anthony KevinsAnthony Kevins, Joshua Robison
Most citizens agree that legislators should reflect their constituencies’ stances. Yet constituents rarely speak in a single voice. Instead, constituents often vary not only in their policy preferences, but also in the degree to which a given policy impacts their lives. Politicians thus at times pursue targeted representation, offering increased input to especially-affected groups. As efforts to address anti-Black police misconduct make clear, such measures can protect vulnerable minority groups – but they may also be perceived to sideline the less-affected majority. We fielded two national survey experiments to investigate how Americans respond when legislators give more attention to some citizens than others. Results suggest that members of targeted groups react more positively on average than non-members, and that reactions among non-members are strongly driven by racial resentment. The impact of racial resentment is largely unaffected by the race and partisanship of the politician proposing the measure, but it is exacerbated in cases of a clear preference conflict between the African-American community and the broader constituency.
European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme via a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (Grant no. 750556).
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Politics and International Studies