Parliamentary Agenda Priorities and Responsiveness Under Authoritarianism
Middle East Politics; Responsiveness; Clientelism; Legislative Politics; Comparative agendas; Morocco; Justice and Development Party
Former studies have focused on issue prioritization in parliaments and compared the priorities of both political elites and citizens to measure their level of responsiveness to the general public. To date, this topic was examined in more than twenty countries, which are exclusively democratic systems. This paper aims to contribute to the comparative agendas' politics literature by testing issue-congruency under competitive authoritarian regimes. Analyzing more than 10,000 legislative texts, mainly parliamentary draft bills and questions, and matching them with public opinion data on citizen priorities in Morocco, we found a substantial level of issue congruence between the priorities of the elites and citizens. The level of congruency is particularly higher for parliamentary questions compared to draft bills. The results also demonstrate that contrary to the earlier theories on clientelism and citizen-politician linkages in the Middle East, the priorities of the major political parties largely reflect the priorities of the general public rather than the priorities of the party supporters.