Increasing levels of polarization enhance the pressure for policy regimes to change even if they are highly institutionalized. Based on this idea, Marco Di Giulio and Stella Gianfreda investigate how anticipatory policy design affects liberal migration policy regimes in times of growing securitization. Their analysis of the Italian asylum policy shows that anticipatory strategies of both “entrenchers” and “dismantlers” are relevant to understand the dynamics of change. Even in the Italian context where dismantling forces have profoundly shaped the national policy regime, entrenchment strategies (e.g., providing incentives to foster compliance) have proved effective in stabilizing and renovating liberal institutions. Beyond these insights that policy dynamics may emerge as in-coherent and stratified policy mixes, the article calls for further micro-level analysis to complement existing macro-level studies on migration policy change in order to shed light on how agency may or may nor shape future changes of policy regimes
To what extent can national electoral contexts explain citizens’ vote for Green parties in EP elections? JeongHun Han and Daniel Finke argue that in EP elections, voters express their sincere environmental issue preference rather than their dissatisfaction with the performance of national mainstream parties. Analyzing voter survey data from the 2019 EP election, JeongHun and Daniel demonstrate that genuine environmental preferences indeed drive support for a Green party. Interestingly, green issue voting tends to be stronger for small Green parties than for large ones and if the Green party owns the environmental issue. Additionally, the party system matters: sincere voting for Green parties is particularly relevant in contexts in which mainstream parties also pick up environmental and climate policies. Overall, this research indicates that first-order motives become increasingly decisive for understanding vote choice in EP elections while previous second-order characteristics seem to lose some of their explanatory power.
Especially during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, women heads of government were praised for their seemingly better performance in leading their countries through this health crisis. Making use of the unique circumstances of the global pandemic, Jessica C. Smith sheds light on how the gender composition of government impacts national responses to the crisis. Based on data from the UN COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, her analysis of 62 countries demonstrates that the presence of women in government matters in two ways. First, women-led countries have more gender diverse COVID-19 task forces compared to those led by men. Second, women’s participation in these task forces increases the likelihood that the policy responses will be gender-sensitive. Hence, in addition to normative reasons advocating for the representation of women beyond elected bodies, Jessica’s research provides evidence that women’s presence can ensure that measures implemented to cope with crisis situations take gender inequalities into account and thus make for better policies