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On either side of a moat? Elite and mass attitudes towards right and wrong

Allen, Nicholas and Birch, Sarah (2011) 'On either side of a moat? Elite and mass attitudes towards right and wrong.' European Journal of Political Research, 51 (1). pp. 89-116. ISSN 0304-4130

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Abstract

This article develops a cognitive institutionalist account of mass and elite evaluations of political ethics, which is tested on a new dataset from the United Kingdom. The analysis explores the extent of contemporary disagreement among British political elites and those they represent by comparing responses to questions asked in a representative survey of the public with similar questions asked of incumbent MPs and parliamentary candidates. There are systematic differences between members of the public, candidates and MPs at both aggregate and individual levels – differences which can be accounted for with reference to the framing effects of Parliament as an institution. Candidates for parliamentary office display significantly more tolerance of ethically dubious behaviour than other members of the public. Within the elite category, elected MPs exhibit more permissive ethical standards than those candidates who are unsuccessful.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: political ethics; corruption; elite attitudes; British politics; cognitive institutionalism
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 13:23
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2012 13:23
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2267

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