Partisanship, National Identity and Responsibility Attribution. Experimental Evidence from the UK

19.06.2017 - 12:00
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Sandra Léon
Lecturer affiliation: 
University of York, visiting researcher at MZES

This paper provides new theoretical and empirical insights into how individual cognitive mechanisms affect responsibility attribution in devolved settings. We hypothesise that individuals will resort to national identity and partisanship to assign blame and credit between levels of government. Using a survey experiment on responsibility attribution for the NHS outcomes in Scotland and Wales, results show that partisanship is the strongest moderator of responsibility assignments. Yet national identity also operates as cognitive bias, a role that so far has been theoretically and empirically overlooked in the literature. These empirical findings can inform current debates on devolution by pointing to the role of partisanship and national identity as individual cognitive guides in complex institutional settings, such as the British one.