New article West European Politics

Ulrich Sieberer and co-authors investigate opposition behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic in four parliaments

How do opposition parties react to government policy in times of crisis? The article studies the sentimens that opposition parties in Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom express towards government policy regardin the Covid-19 pandemic. In line with findings on international crises, we show more positive sentiment at the beginning of the crisis ('rally-round-the-flag effect') that became substantially more critical by July 2021. Besides these level differences, we observe familiar differences between opposition parties based on party size and government experience, indicating that the pandemic did not alter the basic dynamics between government and opposition parties.

Louwerse, Tom; Sieberer, Ulrich; Tuttnauer, Or; Andeweg, Rudy B. (2021): Opposition in times of crisis: COVID-19 in parliamentary debates, West European Politics, doi: 10.1080/01402382.2021.1886519. Link