Students’ research. How Programs Turn into Policies: The Implementation of Electoral Promises of Single-Mandate Constituency Members of Seimas in Lithuania During the Term of 2016-2020

Project idea

The implementation of public policy begins with intentions. Therefore, political promises are an indispensable part of democracy and public policy. However, there is no consensus regarding their real value in the political process so far. Recently the promises of Western European and Canadian politicians’ and aspects relevant to their implementation were started to analyse, but there have been no systemic and methodologically sound evaluations of the activities of the Lithuanian members of Parliament. This project seeks to understand how the electoral promises of single-mandate constituency candidates’ are related to decisions implemented in Lithuania and what are the preconditions of these programs to turn into real political means. This analysis aims to solve a theoretical and empirical dispute on what political promises really mean in the process of policy implementation. It also seeks to broaden methodological, geographic, and systemic scope of research on political promise implementation by including the case of Lithuania as a mixed electoral system and concentrating on the implementation of electoral promises in the majoritarian element – single-mandate constituencies.

During studies at university, a lot of attention is paid to theoretical models of public policy and quantitative methods, but their practical implementation is rare. Therefore, this research provides an opportunity to gain practical skills and to analyse the decision-making and implementation in Lithuania. The project will encourage further research and investigations in this sphere of public policy. It will also contribute to a better understanding of how promises turn into decisions, how politicians’ accountability to voters is ensured, and how the mixed electoral system affects public policy. The content of this project will include literature review, analysis of methodological approaches, data on dependent and independent variable, implementation of statistical analysis, conclusions, and a research report.