Conciliation Committee Negotiations

Franchino, Fabio and Camilla Mariotto (2013) ‘Explaining Negotiations in the Conciliation Committee‘, European Union Politics, 14.


The conciliation committee is the ultimate bicameral dispute settlement mechanism of the ordinary legislative procedure of the European Union. Who gets what, and why, in this committee? We argue that its institutional setup is biased in favour of the Council of Ministers. Employing the Wordfish algorithm, we show that the joint text is more similar to the Council common position than to the parliamentary reading in almost 70 percent of the dossiers that reached conciliation up to February 2012. The European Parliament is more successful in the post-Amsterdam period, when the Council decides by qualified majority voting, the rapporteur comes from a large party, the European Commission is supportive, and when national administrations are more involved in the implementation process than the Commission.

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Electoral Institutions and Distributive Policies

Franchino, Fabio and Marco Mainenti (2013) ‘Electoral Institutions and Distributive Policies in Parliamentary Systems: An Application to State Aid Measures in EU Countries‘, West European Politics, 36.


Electoral institutions should systematically affect the propensity of a country to rely and spend on distributive measures. Supporting evidence is however still rare because of the difficulty in finding comparable cross-national data, the employment of dummy variables to account for the electoral systems, and the failure to recognise the interacting effects of different electoral rules on policy outcomes. Employing national data on state aid expenditure and a number of measures across European Union countries, the article provides evidence that legislators elected in higher magnitude districts spend less. More interestingly, it shows the interlocking policy effects of electoral institutions. Where high district magnitude is combined with ballot control, party-based voting and pooling, these rules conjunctly dampen politicians’ incentives to cultivate a personal vote and lead to lower spending on, and use of, distributive measures. Where high district magnitude is not combined with these rules, results are inconclusive. With one exception though, if leaders do not have control over the ballot rank, higher magnitude increases reliance on distributive measures. Results are robust to several alternative political-economy explanations of fiscal policy outcomes.

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Social bases of nuclear energy policies in Europe

The social bases of nuclear energy policies in Europe: Ideology, proximity, belief updating and attitudes to risk

Fabio Franchino, Università degli Studi di Milano

European Journal of Political Research, Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 213–233, May 2014

A summary of this article is available on the EUROPP blog of the London School of Economics and Political Science

This article analyses the social bases underpinning the widely different trajectories of nuclear energy policies across Western European countries. Employing a set of surveys carried out in the last thirty years, it examines the conditional effects of ideology and geographical proximity to a nuclear power plant on attitudes toward nuclear energy, as well as the long- and short-term dynamics of belief updating after the occurrence of major accidents. Results highlight how proximity can strengthen, weaken or have no effect on the ideological component of these attitudes. Moreover, the publics of most countries with experience in nuclear energy display the traits of Bayesian dynamics of belief updating, especially in the vicinity of a plant. The article also shows the fairly exceptional traits of French public opinion. In conclusion, the broad social constraints within which governments operate, across time and space, shed light on the different policy trajectories of European countries.

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Phasing-out and Phasing-in Nuclear Energy in Europe

Phasing-out and Phasing-in: The Comparative Politics and Policies of Nuclear Energy in Europe
Edited by Wolfgang C. Müller and Paul W. Thurner
1 Nuclear Energy in Western Europe: Revival or Rejection? An
Wolfgang C. Müller & Paul W. Thurner
2 Understanding Policy Reversals and Policy Stability
Wolfgang C. Müller & Paul W. Thurner
3 Comparative Policy Indicators on Nuclear Energy
Paul W. Thurner & Wolfgang C. Müller
4 The Conflict over Nuclear Energy: Public Opinion, Protest Movements,
and Green Parties in Comparative Perspective
Paul W. Thurner, Martin Dolezal, Swen Hutter, Sylvain Brouard,
Isabel Guineaudau, Wolfgang C. Müller
5 Austria: Rejecting Nuclear Energy—From Party Competition Accident
to State Doctrine
Wolfgang C. Müller
6 Nuclear Energy Politics in Belgium: Big Business and Politics
Marc Swyngedouw
7 Nuclear Politics in France: High Profile Policy and Low Salient Politics
Sylvain Brouard & Isabelle Guinaudeau
8 Germany: Party System Change and Policy Reversals
Paul W. Thurner
9 Italy: Leading and Lagging: Innovation, Delays and Coalition Politics
in Nuclear Energy Policy
Fabio Franchino
10 Nuclear Power and Politics in the Netherlands.
Kees Aarts & Maarten Arentsen
11 The Will of the People? Swedish Nuclear Power Policy
Sören Holmberg & Per Hedberg
12 Switzerland
Hanspeter Kriesi
13 Conclusion: Nuclear Energy Policy Reversals in Europe

Voting in a multidimensional space

A conjoint analysis employing valence and ideology attributes of candidates


Fabio Franchino and Francesco Zucchini, Università degli Studi di Milano

Most formal models of valence competition add a single, separable and unweighted component to the standard one-dimensional utility function of voters. We present the results of a conjoint analysis experiment where respondents are asked to choose between two candidates whose profiles vary along five attributes. Four of these traits behave like valence or policy issues as expected, but one, which has been employed in recent formal and empirical works, does not. Moreover, policy and valence are not separable. They interact significantly, taking a competency form whereby the marginal impact of valence on voters’ choice is conditional on candidates’ policies. Finally, policy trumps valence in awkward choices. Respondents even prefer corrupt candidates with similar policy views than honest ones with different opinions, despite integrity being declared the most important attribute.