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Abstract

Democratic elections are designed to create unequal outcomes-for some to win, others have to lose. This book examines the consequences of this inequality for the legitimacy of democratic political institutions and systems. Using survey data collected in old and new democracies around the globe, the authors argue that losing generates ambivalent attitudes towards political authorities. Because the efficacy and ultimately the survival of democratic regimes can be seriously threatened if the losers do not consent to their loss, the central themes of this book focus on losing-how losers respond to their loss and how institutions shape losing. While there tends to be a gap in support for the political system between winners and losers, it is not ubiquitous. The book paints a picture of losers' consent that portrays losers as political actors whose experience and whose incentives to accept defeat are shaped both by who they are as individuals as well as the political environment in which loss is given meaning. Given that the winner-loser gap in legitimacy is a persistent feature of democratic politics, the findings presented in this book have important implications for our understanding of the functioning and stability of democracies since being able to accept losing is one of the central, if not the central, requirement of democracy. The book contributes to our understanding of political legitimacy, comparative political behaviour, the comparative study of elections and political institutions, as well as issues of democratic stability, design, and transition. © Christopher J. Anderson, André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan, and Ola Listhaug 2005. All rights reserved.

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... A larger body of literature has already made great headway in explaining individual-level change in legitimacy beliefs through electoral outcomes. While elections generally increase various types of legitimacy beliefs (Adam, 2014;Berinsky, 2002;Blais & Gélineau, 2007;Bowler & Donovan, 2002;Daniller, 2016;Hooghe & Stiers, 2016), a gap between winners and losers of the electoral competition has been extensively documented in the existing literature (see for example Anderson et al., 2005;Anderson & Guillory, 1997;Craig et al., 2006;Curini et al., 2012;Dahlberg & Linde, 2017;Martini & Quaranta, 2019;Singh et al., 2012;Stiers et al., 2018;van der Meer & Steenvorden, 2018). ...
... Second, political legitimacy beliefs may also change because of the emotions voters have invested in the electoral game (Esaiasson, 2011;Holmberg, 1999;Pierce et al., 2016): losing hurts emotionally and winning makes people happy. Third, it could be that losers in particular adjust their level of legitimacy beliefs in reaction to the electoral defeat for reasons of cognitive consistency (Anderson et al., 2005;Daniller, 2016;Esaiasson, 2011). According to these mechanisms, the winner-loser gap can originate either from losers losing, winners winning, or from a combination of the two. ...
... They show that repeatedly losing is different from occasionally losing as demonstrated by levels of satisfaction with democracy. According to Anderson et al. (2005), it is the second consecutive electoral loss that ignites further disappointment: 'repeatedly losing frustrates voters to an ever greater degree ' (p. 63). ...
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Modern democracies are dependent on regular elections and citizens’ legitimacy beliefs. Studies have shown that repeated electoral defeats are associated with lower levels of satisfaction with democracy and political trust. However, previous studies have only considered one type of legitimacy belief at a time, never in comparison. What is more, all previous work is based on observational studies and has not been able to identify any causal effects of losing repeatedly. Building on previous work and classic theories of political legitimacy beliefs, we argue that repeatedly losing in elections represents a form of long‐term exclusion from democratic power that has additional negative effects on people's legitimacy beliefs because they lose faith in the system and start questioning its evenhandedness. We support our predictions using six‐wave panel data and test our hypothesis a total of sixteen times within the same context. The findings show that repeated losers are never less satisfied with democracy but that an additional electoral loss leads to lower levels of political trust. The findings have important implications for the meaning of different indicators of legitimacy beliefs but also for electoral research and the underpinnings of stable democracies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... The sum total of this body of literature is an argument that beliefs that elections are perceived as unfair can undermine perceptions of the legitimacy of the outcomes which in turn can make citizens less likely to voluntarily comply with the policy results that flow from electoral outcomes and that this effect is particularly pronounced for those who did not get from elections what they had preferred. In essence, unfair processes risk losing the losers' consent [14]. ...
... Birch [15], for example, reports that evaluations of the fairness of elections are strongly interconnected with turnout in a range of elections, but her finding is based exclusively on retrospective evaluations of fairness. These findings are challenging to interpret given that a wide body of literature has established the existence of a 'winner-loser' effect following electoral competitions (see, for example [14,[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]). This literature demonstrates that those who see their preferred side 'win' an election (usually understood in terms of seeing the party they voted for take charge of the executive) are more positive on a wide range of measures than those who see their preferred side 'lose'. ...
... In this study, we use data from the British Election Study Internet Panel (BESIP) 2 . This is one of very few large-scale representative surveys to include explicit questions about the perceived fairness of elections since the widely used Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) surveys from the late 1990s 3 (for a discussion of the CSES data collection, along with countries covered and perceived fairness values, see the Appendix of [14]; and [15]) 4 . BESIP is also important for including explicitly prospective questions about the expected fairness of elections, which allows for a true evaluation of the impacts of fairness beliefs, unaffected by the winner-loser and outcome favourability effects discussed above. ...
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Almost all academic literature about the causes and consequences of fairness of elections and referenda is based on retrospective evaluations. One of the strongest findings of such studies is that nonvoting is higher among citizens who retrospectively perceived an election as unfair. However, on logical grounds, it is impossible to attribute lower rates of voting to retrospectively perceived unfairness because at the time of the vote citizens can only rely on their prospective expectations of fairness. Moreover, it is well documented that retrospective evaluations are strongly influenced by the outcome of the election which is, at the time of voting, still unknown. In view of the dearth of earlier studies on prospective views of electoral fairness, this article presents the first major exploratory analyses of determinants and consequences of prospective expectations of electoral fairness. Using data from Britain about expectations of fairness of three general elections and two referenda in the period between 2014 and 2019, it shows that the public hold mixed views about the fairness they expect to find when voting. The article demonstrates that these prospective fairness beliefs are sometimes noticeably different to retrospective beliefs in terms of their predictors. Moreover, in sharp contrast to literature based on retrospective evaluations, this article also finds that prospective evaluations do not importantly affect the decision to vote. These findings have important implications for how we understand and evaluate the inclusiveness of elections.
... As for all other variables, it is rescaled on a 0 to 1 interval. Figure The first independent variable of interest is party performance, that is, whether the respondent voted for a party that ended up in government or not; on this operationalization, see Anderson et al. (2005), Nadeau et al. (2021), and Stiers et al. (2018), among others. 3 As for all the independent variables, it is taken from the post-electoral survey. ...
... See Table SM.5 for details. Finally, our findings are robust to the inclusion of several covariates that one might view as important to control for political efficacy and economic perceptions (Anderson et al., 2005;Daoust and Nadeau, 2020;Plescia et al., 2021), as well as ideological congruence and partisanship (Curini et al., 2012;Kim, 2009). Table SM.6 replicates Table 3 with these additional controls and shows that our findings are robust. ...
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Citizens who voted for a party ending up in government are more satisfied with democracy than those who supported a party that ends up in the opposition. The assumption is that voting for a party that is included in the government produces a perception of having won the election, which increases one’s level of satisfaction with democracy. This (assumed) mediation has never been directly tested. In this research note, we provide the first empirical test of this mediation using data from the Making Electoral Democracy Work project, which includes a question tapping whether the respondent perceives the party she voted for won or lost the election. We do not find support for the mediation hypothesis. We conclude that the meaning of the higher (lower) satisfaction observed among those who voted for a party included in the government (or in the opposition) remains ambiguous. Our research has important implications for the conceptualization of what it means to win or lose an election.
... The literature on the effects that electoral status has on several attitudes and behaviors is particularly broad. Voting for the winning or losing party in an electoral competition has been proved to affect people's perception of the country's economic performance (Anderson et al., 2005;23-29), with winners evaluating it more positively and losers more negatively. Other studies have also demonstrated that satisfaction with democracy decreases among those voters supporting politicians/parties losing the electoral competition (Blais and Gelineau, 2007;Chang et al., 2014;Martini and Quaranta, 2015;Dahlberg and Linde, 2017). ...
... Coherently, several studies have demonstrated that partisanship has been effective in shaping attitudes during the pandemic (e.g., Druckman et al., 2020;Hornsey et al., 2020). In this paper we contend that an election could be conceived as a competition between different worldviews, proposals, and loyalty structures (Anderson et al., 2005). Once citizens vote for a certain party/leader, they have a number of (rational and emotional) expectations on the outcome of the election. ...
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Research in political behavior shows that citizens update their past perceptions and future expectations over several phenomena depending on whether their favorite party wins or loses the elections. This bias is explained by different psychological mechanisms triggered by individuals' attachment and trust in political parties. In this paper we investigate whether such a winner-loser effect conditions people's concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic. We leverage the occurrence of regional elections in six Italian regions in September 2020, right at the onset of the second wave of the pandemic in the country, to test whether supporting a candidate who won/lost the elections affects (1) people's fear to get sick with Covid-19, and (2) their expectation about the gravity of the upcoming second wave. Given that the public healthcare system in Italy is managed by the regions, we expect supporters of the losing candidate to lose trust in the region's ability to deal with the pandemic, hence increasing their personal concerns. We test this expectation using pre-/post-election panel data, and employing respondents from the other regions who voted at a concurrent referendum as a placebo group. Our results show that, while overall concerns tend to decrease from the first to the second wave, for elections losers they remain unchanged. This indicates that losing an election, albeit second-order, can affect citizens' outlook on future events in domains that are largely beyond political control.
... As in many countries around the world, elections in Indonesia generally boost public satisfaction with democracy (Anderson et al. 2005;Singh et al. 2012). Figure 8.1 presents the aggregate levels of satisfaction with the way democracy works in Indonesia at thirteen points in time-from before the first presidential election in 2004 to after the most recent election in 2019-for a period of fifteen years. ...
... The multi-year datasets also allow us to measure attitudes among 'repeat losers'. Scholars have become increasingly interested in how different types of winners or losers might hold different attitudes to democracy (Anderson et al. 2005;Chang et al. 2014). Chang and his colleagues (2014) argue that, contrary to perceived general wisdom, there is no relationship between being satisfied with democracy and the number of electoral victories an individual experiences. ...
... Although a transfer of power to President Biden eventually happened as constitutionally prescribed, it did so under heavy guard from soldiers. Not long ago, this set of events happening in the United States would have been unthinkable (Almond and Verba 1963), and indeed experts in American politics deemed the events of the 2020 election to be both significant and abnormal in the context of the country's political history (Bright Line Watch 2021). 1 The legitimacy of democratically elected governments rests in part on widespread acceptance of the outcome of elections, especially among those who lost (Anderson et al. 2005). Evidence from "consolidating" democracies shows that when politicians and their supporters refuse to accept defeat, it decreases support for the political system and increases the likelihood of attempts to overthrow the government through violent means (Przeworski 1991;2005). ...
... In countries with weak commitments to democracy, incumbents commonly make dubious charges of fraud when they do not win (Schedler 2001), and their supporters often believe them (Cantu and Garcıa-Ponce 2015). Such claims are uncommon in consolidated democracies, making Donald Trump's blatant lies all the more noteworthy and abnormal (Anderson et al. 2005). 2 The goal of this article is to study how lies shape voters' perceptions about election integrity, support for violence, us (Bright Line Watch 2020;Clayton et al. 2021;Drutman 2021;Pennycook and Rand 2021). ...
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The legitimacy of democratically elected governments rests in part on widespread acceptance of the outcome of elections, especially among those who lost. This “losers’ consent” allows the winners to govern, and when the incumbent is the losing party, it allows for a peaceful transition of power. What happens in a democratic system when one side not only refuses to concede but also actively perpetuates lies about the outcome? This article studies the evolution of public opinion about Donald Trump’s “big lie” using a rolling cross-sectional daily tracking survey, yielding 40 days of polls and more than 20,000 responses from US voters from October 27, 2020, through January 29, 2021. We find that the lie is pervasive and sticky: the number of Republicans and independents saying that they believe the election was fraudulent is substantial, and this proportion did not change appreciably over time or shift after important political developments. Belief in the lie may have buoyed some of Trump supporters’ self-esteem. In reaction to the lie and the threat it brought to the transition of power, there was a significant rise in support for violent political activism among Democrats, which only waned after efforts to overturn the election clearly failed. Even if these findings merely reflect partisan cheerleading, we nonetheless find significant and potentially long-term consequences of the lie. A conjoint experiment shows that Republican voters reward politicians who perpetuate the lie, giving Republican candidates an incentive to continue to do so in the next electoral cycle. These findings raise concerns about the fragility of American democracy.
... The best illustration of how subjective factors shape electoral trust is the importance of the "winner/loser" status. The distrust among those who voted for a losing candidate and its contrasting effect among those who voted for the winner have been extensively documented across multiple elections (Alvarez, Hall, and Llewellyn 2008;Anderson et al. 2005;Maldonado and Seligson 2014). However, it remains unclear whether such reactions reflect only the election result or also depend on the candidates' assessment of the process. ...
... Perhaps the most-studied subjective predictor of election trust, and other indicators of trust in government, is the voter's "winner/loser" status (Anderson et al. 2005), that is, those who voted for a losing candidate tend to show lower levels of election trust than those who voted for the winning candidate. This response is rooted in individuals' emotional reactions to winning and losing (Brown and Dutton 1995). ...
Article
The comparative literature on democratization has shown that election trust depends as much on subjective factors as on the objective conditions of the process. This literature, however, has thus far overlooked the consequences of candidates refusing to concede an electoral defeat. This letter argues that a disputed electoral outcome further inflames negative perceptions of electoral integrity among voters who supported a losing candidate. We bring support for this claim from a multilevel regression that includes data from the AmericasBarometer surveys on almost 100,000 respondents across 49 elections in 18 Latin American countries. We combine these responses with an original database of disputed elections in the region. The empirical findings demonstrate the eroding effect of challenged election outcomes on voters' election trust, particularly among those who voted for a losing candidate. The findings underscore an intuitive yet untested pattern: candidates' refusal to accept the electoral outcome is a strong signal among their supporters, increasing their distrust on the integrity of the process.
... In this article, we bring in new observational and experimental evidence that significantly extends the empirical scope of this growing literature, and we refine the theoretical argument about how being on the winning or losing side of elections and polarization affect the willingness to stand up for democracy. Theoretically we link with the studies of Anderson et al. (2005), Singer (2018), and Svolik (2019 and. First, we build on the wellestablished finding that (across different regions and institutional contexts) there is a gap between losers and winners of elections in their satisfaction with democracy and its performance in general (Anderson et al., 2005, p. 33-49). ...
... Therefore, the stakes are higher for the opposition, and the opposition should be most vigilant to prevent the systemic changes that result in fewer constraints on the power of current authorities. This means that losers have a double role: they have to accept the unfavorable result of elections (Anderson et al., 2005), but they are also more likely to protect the system of democratic checks and balances, albeit not necessarily for democracy's sake. Although losers' consent, that is, acceptance of unfavorable electoral results, has been shown to be important for the functioning of democracy, there is less research focusing on losers in relation to reforms that can infringe on checks and balances. ...
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Winners and losers of elections have different stakes in protecting democratic institutions. We provide new evidence for the effects of partisanship and economic performance on support for checks and balances and acceptance of their infringement. Using survey data from 26 European countries, we show that voters who feel close to a political party that lost the elections support checks and balances significantly more than other citizens. We also find that higher satisfaction with the economy is associated with lower support for checks and balances. Our experiment in Ukraine shows that supporters and opponents of the governing party have divergent evaluations of a reform potentially infringing on the independence of the judiciary. Those in opposition find such reforms less acceptable and justified. Again, we find that improved economic performance leads to higher acceptance of judicial reform. Our results confirm that citizens’ support for checks and balances is contingent and volatile.
... Therefore, the reaction of citizens with populist attitudes that lose referendums is of particular importance to this analysis. Extensive work both on elections and on procedural fairness has shown that outcome favourability plays an important role in shaping citizens' evaluations of the decision-making process and their likelihood to accept the decision (Anderson et al. 2005;Arnesen 2017;Esaiasson et al. 2019;Marien and Kern 2018;Merkley et al. 2019). If populist citizens root their support for referendums in the expectation of favourable outcomes, losing a referendum could lower their willingness to accept the decision (that is, they are 'sore losers') 4 : Hypothesis 3: The higher the degree of populist attitudes, the lower the willingness to accept the outcomes of referendums among decision losers. ...
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Can referendums help increase perceived legitimacy among citizens with populist attitudes? Indeed, public opinion surveys show that populist citizens are especially in favour of referendums. However, we do not know whether this support reflects a principled desire for different decision-making procedures or an instrumental one (that is, because they expect referendums to yield favourable outcomes). We study this question on a real-life case: the Dutch 2018 referendum on the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017. Using high-quality survey data from both before and after the referendum, we find that, counter to conventional wisdom and our hypotheses, populists' support for referendums is less driven by instrumental motives compared to that of non-populists, and that populists are more likely than non-populists to accept the outcome of a referendum, even when this outcome is unfavourable.
... Similar to other post-socialist societies, Croatia is facing a high level of corruption, low level of political literacy, economic deprivation, social inequalities, but also high polarization and political division based on predominantly ideological differences (Henjak 2017;Sekulić 2016;Šiber 1998). In such polarized societies, outcomes of democratic institutions are subordinate to whether the preferred party is in power and whether the government agenda represents the views of a specific group (Anderson et al. 2005). One might think this issue would provoke a considerable interest among social scientists to understand the democratic deficit in Croatia in more detail; however, studies on configuration, effects, and predictors of institutional distrust of the general population in Croatia, even though existing, still do not offer meticulous analyses of individual and social characteristics influencing the level of institutional trust. 1 Nevertheless, a few examples illustrate predominant elements of institutional trust in Croatia. ...
Article
Low levels of trust in institutions in a post-socialist context is a relatively well-documented finding across various disciplines. Building upon this, the paper adds new insights to this discussion by contextualizing institutional trust amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia. Relying on the results from the national probabilistic sample, the authors explore how three sets of predictors–socio-demographic variables, individual characteristics (i.e., motivational orientations of authoritarianism and social dominance), and participants’ experiences during the coronavirus pandemic determine the level of trust in public institutions. Results unequivocally showcase a fairly weak relationship between authoritarianism and social dominance orientation with institutional trust, unlike situational experiences, which play the most significant role in explaining levels of institutional trust. Contrary to authors’ expectations, adherence to measures and worries about catching the COVID-19 disease in the future were not predictive for institutional trust.
... They are co-responsible for the quality of political leadership and the pool of candidates running for office, both in terms of their political skills and their ethical posture. If citizens believe parties are acting contrary to the principles underpinning democratic governance or are not fulfilling the "political integration functions" expected from them, they are less likely to trust political parties and to support the political system as a whole (Anderson et al. 2005). In short, if people believe parties are "corrupt institutions run by self-interested and power-hungry politicians" (Ceka 2013), they are likely to feel disillusioned about politics and either withdraw from public life or seek alternative ways to express their discontent, such as by voting for anti-system parties (Pop-Eleches 2010). ...
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We study how political elites and voters respond to intra-party reforms to promote transparency and ethical conduct. Evidence from a paired conjoint analysis from politicians and voters in Portugal and Spain.
... Although satisfaction with democracy (SWD) is sometimes used in the study of support for incumbent authorities and the political system, of the evaluation of government performance (Canache et al., 2001), the discrepancy between democratic norms and the outputs of the political system (Curini et al., 2012), and of attitudes towards policy outputs (Grönlund & Setälä, 2007), it is most widely considered an indicator of evaluating democratic performance (Norris, 1999). Irrespective of what citizens may think democracy is, low levels of democratic satisfaction are a sign of its weakening legitimacy (Anderson et al., 2005). To manage the behavioural consequences of dissatisfaction Grönlund & Setälä, 2007) we must understand the contributing factors and mechanisms. ...
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en The aim of this study is to understand how electoral rules affect citizens’ satisfaction with democracy. The focus is on the extent to which this effect is mediated by the constituency orientation of legislators and the proportionality of election results. The analysis combines data from the European Social Survey and the Comparative Candidates Survey and covers 24 elections from 14 European countries. The multilevel SEM suggests two results. On the one hand, what majority and some mixed-member electoral systems gain through increasing constituency orientation, they lose to disproportional election results. On the other hand, open and flexible lists perform better in increasing satisfaction than closed ballots. Importantly, the analysis reveals a winner-loser gap in how constituency representation and proportionality affect democratic satisfaction. Both are more important for the losers of the elections when they evaluate democratic performance. Zusammenfassung de Die vorliegende Studie untersucht den Zusammenhang zwischen Wahlgesetzen und Demokratiezufriedenheit der Bevölkerung. Im Fokus der Analyse stehen potentielle Wechselwirkungen zwischen der Wahlkreisorientierung der Abgeordneten und dem Proportionalitätsgehalt von Wahlergebnissen. Es wird erwartet, dass die Demokratiezufriedenheit steigt, wenn mehrere alternative Kandidaten unter den Bedingungen proportionaler Repräsentation zur Auswahl stehen. Für die empirische Analyse werden Daten aus dem European Social Survey und dem Comparative Candidates Survey für 24 Wahlen in 14 europäischen Ländern verknüpft. Das Mehr-Ebenen-Strukturgleichungsmodells zeigt zwei Ergebnisse. Erstens wird höhere Zufriedenheit, die mit einer erhöhten Wahlkreisorientierung unter den Bedingungen eines Mehrheits- oder personalisierten Verhältniswahlrechts einhergeht, als Folge der Disproportionalität des Wahlausgangs eingebüßt. Zweitens fördern offene und flexible Varianten einer Listenwahl die Demokratiezufriedenheit eher als geschlossene Parteilisten. Bei der Beurteilung der Demokratie im jeweiligen Land spielen Repräsentation und Responsivität allerdings eine wichtigere Rolle für die Unterstützer von Wahlverlierern. Résumé fr L’objectif de cette étude est de comprendre comment les règles électorales affectent la satisfaction des citoyens à l’égard de la démocratie. Au lieu d’étudier uniquement l'effet direct, l'accent est mis sur la mesure dans laquelle l'effet est médiatisé par l'orientation électorale des législateurs et la proportionnalité des résultats électoraux. Il est théorisé que les citoyens apprécient le lien entre ces deux variables: la satisfaction est plus grande lorsque les citoyens peuvent choisir entre les candidats, et sous la représentation proportionnelle. L'analyse combine les données de l'Enquête Sociale Européenne et du Comparative Candidates Survey et couvre 24 élections de 14 pays européens. Les résultats des SEM multiniveaux suggèrent, d'une part, que ce que les systèmes électoraux majoritaires et mixtes gagnent en termes de la satisfaction citoyenne par l'orientation électorale, ils le perdent à cause des résultats électoraux disproportionnés. En revanche, les listes ouvertes et flexibles sont plus efficaces pour accroître la satisfaction citoyenne que les listes fermées. Surtout, l'analyse révèle un écart gagnant-perdant dans la manière dont la représentation des électeurs et la proportionnalité affectent la satisfaction démocratique. Le lien entre les deux est plus importants pour les perdants des élections surtout lorsqu'ils évaluent la performance démocratique.
... As an alternative to the honeymoon Hypothesis, there are good reasons to suspect that, under some conditions-particularly highly contested elections or highly polarized party systems-some voters are not going to bandwagon but rather increase their aversion to the elected president. Consistent with the sore loser hypothesis (Anderson et al., 2005), partisanship has a moderating effect for winners and losers, in which the electoral defeat diminishes the legitimacy of the electoral process among out-partisans (Cantú and Ponce, 2015). If this is the case, political losers are unlikely to improve their opinion about the newly elected president; quite the opposite: they will reinforce their negative assessments or even worsen it. ...
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This research analyzes the honeymoon period, the phase between election day and the first quarter of the first year of the presidential term, in which voters form their initial assessment of the new president's administration, a subject understudied by the literature. While different studies highlight that the president's approval is strong during the early phase of the administration, we seek to understand why and which are the most important individual-level predictors of early presidential approval. Relying on data from the 2018-19 Mexican Election Study, we argue that voters' partisanship is key to understanding the attitudes towards the new administration. While co-partisans do not alter significantly their attitudes towards the newly elected President (they already like him), out-partisans are the key group that changed between election day and the honeymoon period: they significantly improved their opinion about the newly elected President. Moreover, as opposed to most studies that identify retrospective evaluations as the most important predictor of presidential approval, this study highlights that, particularly in a honeymoon period—in which election day is still close—expressive postelection attitudes such as satisfaction of democracy or political efficacy are important predictors of early presidential approval, particularly among co-partisans of the newly elected President.
... However, participation in the government is the direct translation of the ultimate goal of an election, namely, to determine who will form the government. This is why the corresponding definition has been frequently used in previous studies to identify winners (e.g., Anderson et al., 2005;Singh et al., 2012). Moreover, as discussed above in the theory section, the win/lose variable derived from this definition can best predict the change of internal efficacy since being in power is one of the most effective ways for one's representative to exert influence on the political process. ...
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Many studies have investigated the consequences of election outcome for one of the important public attitudes, political efficacy. The effect of election outcome on external efficacy has been confirmed by most previous studies, whereas the effect on internal efficacy is not clear-cut. By reconceptualizing internal efficacy based on the social cognitive theory of self-efficacy, this study argues that there are two conditions for an election outcome’s impact on internal efficacy: the expected difficulty of winning and the level of involvement in the election. By analyzing panel survey data collected for three Japanese Lower House elections, this study shows that election outcome exerted an impact on internal efficacy if the following two conditions were simultaneously satisfied: (1) winners/losers perceived that the election was difficult/easy to win, and (2) voters were deeply involved in the election process.
... Furthermore, in functioning democracies, lawmakers should ideally accept and abide by the outcome of majority decisions in parliament. But when MPs set off tear gas to prevent the ratification of a treaty, as happened in Kosovo, or when MPs of the ruling AKP in Turkey assault a colleague of the opposition simply because of a speech critical of the president, "the rules of the game" are clearly no longer broadly accepted (Anderson et al. 2005;Boix 1999;Massicotte, Blais, and Yoshinaka 2004). ...
Article
Why do lawmakers resort to physical violence in some parliaments but not in others? Brawls not only constitute a stark break with democratic norms and ideals, they also affect voter perceptions and have been seen as a bellwether for conflict and democratic backsliding. Yet, the phenomenon remains poorly understood. This paper introduces a new, original dataset recording reported incidents of physical fights in parliaments across the globe between 1980 and 2018 that includes almost four times more cases of violence than existing data. Theoretically, we argue that levels of democracy and the composition of parliament should drive violence. The analysis shows that fighting is most common in countries that are neither very autocratic nor very democratic, in fragmented parliaments, and in chambers with slim majorities. The findings have implications for the study of (de-)democratization, political instability, and the design of democratic institutions.
Article
A voluminous literature documents that citizens' perceptions of democracy are shaped by electoral victories and defeats, but what reasoning do citizens use to evaluate parties as winners or losers? Drawing on research on partisan-motivated reasoning, I propose an own-party bias in winner–loser evaluations according to which voters evaluate the electoral fate of their party more favourably than that of other parties. Data gathered in the aftermath of the Danish parliamentary election in 2015 support this expectation. Citizens are more inclined to interpret the election outcome as successful for their preferred party, regardless of the actual election result. This is more pronounced the stronger their partisan attachment and among the less politically knowledgeable, who also assign less importance to objective indicators of electoral success. The findings have implications for our understanding of electoral winners and losers and of how electoral results shape party support and polarization.
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A necessary component of peaceful democratic rule is the willingness of election losers to accept election defeats. When politicians and parties acknowledge defeat in democratic elections, they reinforce the peaceful transition of power that sustains political order. When election losers in democracies reject election results, the public’s confidence in democratic institutions is weakened, grievances and polarization abound, and the potential for violent mobilization grows. In this environment, terrorist activity is more likely. I test this proposition using cross-national time series panel data and within-country public opinion data for a wide set of democracies. I find that democracies experience significantly more domestic terrorist casualties when election losers reject election results. Moreover, I find that public willingness to tolerate and justify terrorism as a tactic increases in democratic countries where election losers reject election results.
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There is perennial debate in comparative politics about electoral institutions, but what characterizes this debate is the lack of consideration for citizens' perspective. In this paper, we report the results of an original survey conducted on representative samples in 15 West European countries (N = 15,414). We implemented an original instrument to elicit respondents' views by asking them to rate "real but blind" electoral outcomes. With this survey instrument, we aimed to elicit principled rather than partisan preferences regarding the kind of electoral outcomes that citizens think is good for democracy. We find that West Europeans do not clearly endorse a majoritarian or proportional vision of democracy. They tend to focus on aspects of the government rather than parliament when they pass a judgment. They want a majority government that has few parties and enjoys wide popular support. Finally, we find only small differences between citizens of different countries.
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Democracy is weakened when citizens and elites do not criticize actions or actors that undermine its principles. Yet this study documents a widespread pattern of partisan rationalization in how elites and the public evaluate democratic performance in Latin America. Survey data show that those whose party controls the presidency consistently express positive evaluations of the current state of democratic competition and institutions even when democracy in their country is weak. This pattern emerges in both mass survey data and among elected elites. These data have a worrying implication: if only the political opposition is willing to publicly acknowledge and sound the alarm when democracy is under attack, public pressure to protect democracy is likely to be dramatically reduced.
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The 2016 presidential nominations revealed deep, yet distinct, divisions within each major party. These divisions persisted and permeated the general election campaign and were reflected in voters’ dissatisfaction with the candidates. Movements such as the “Bernie or Bust” supporters and the “Never-Trumpers” indicated that vocal portions of the parties were dissatisfied with the party nominees or the processes that selected those candidates. There were also indications that many party elites were not pleased with the nomination processes or the outcome; yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the extent to which party elites support the nomination process and their party’s nominee and what explains this support. By combining the 2016 Convention Delegate Study and an original dataset of the nomination electoral rules utilized by the states, we assess how candidate, partisan, and electoral factors shape delegate support for the nomination process and nominee. Our analysis reveals that candidate and party-centric explanations better explain delegate views toward the nomination process and nominee than factors related to the electoral context.
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Recent democratic regressions and crises suggest democracy is at risk across East and Southeast Asia. One of the factors that can determine democratic stability are citizens’ attitudes. While previous research has concentrated on support for democracy-in-principle, this contribution argues that it is political trust, i.e. support for democracy-in-practice, which is crucial for democratic stability. For democracies to be stable, political trust should be high as well as rooted in long-term factors like liberal democratic value orientations or social trust to protect it from short-term fluctuations following economic crises or political scandals. This contribution therefore examines not only the current levels and development of political trust but also whether it is influenced more by long-term factors (liberal democratic value orientations, social trust) or short-term factors (economic performance evaluations, incumbent support). The empirical analysis shows political trust in five East and Southeast Asian democracies (Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan) to be mostly mediocre and primarily dependent on economic performance evaluations and incumbent support. Among the five democracies, citizens in Japan appear most resilient to democratic regressions; on the other hand, Taiwanese democracy seems least equipped to master future crises.
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In this manuscript, we examine the impact of voting for the winning candidate on satisfaction with democracy. While extensive evidence exists documenting this relationship, it is almost entirely correlational in nature. We take advantage of survey timing during the 2000 post-election period in the U.S. when the vast majority of respondents were uncertain about who would win the presidency. Employing 2000–2002 panel data and using a difference-in-differences model, we are able to establish a relationship between electoral outcome and satisfaction with democracy that appears only for respondents interviewed once the outcome became official. We find an increase in satisfaction among winners and a parallel decrease among losers from 2000 to 2002. Importantly, our design allows us to go further than most studies to make causal claims.
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Democracy is in decline worldwide, primarily because voters elect candidates harboring antidemocratic aspirations. Scholars argue that elections animate the democratic spirits of winners and deflate those of losers, but what about contests ending in the victory of authoritarian candidates? To answer this question, we consider the dynamics of commitment to democracy in Brazil's 2018 presidential campaign. Drawing on AmericasBarometer data and an original five-wave panel survey, we confirm that Jair Bolsonaro's campaign attracted skeptics of democracy. Although his election and inauguration boosted his supporters’ allegiance to the political system, it also exacerbated their tolerance for institutional ruptures such as executive-led coups. Meanwhile, election losers retained their democratic commitments. As a result, the authoritarian victory narrowed preexisting winner–loser gaps in support for the political system, but widened gaps in tolerance for certain antidemocratic maneuvers. Thus, authoritarian electoral victories can foster short-term satisfaction among democracy's critics while abetting future instability.
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What can policy makers do in day‐to‐day decision making to strengthen citizens' belief that the political system is legitimate? Much literature has highlighted that the realization of citizens' personal preferences in policy making is an important driver of legitimacy beliefs. We argue that citizens, in addition, also care about whether a policy represents the preferences of the majority of citizens, even if their personal preference diverges from the majority's. Using the case of the European Union (EU) as a system that has recurringly experienced crises of public legitimacy, we conduct a vignette survey experiment in which respondents assess the legitimacy of fictitious EU decisions that vary in how they were taken and whose preferences they represent. Results from original surveys conducted in the five largest EU countries show that the congruence of EU decisions not only with personal opinion but also with different forms of majority opinion significantly strengthens legitimacy beliefs. We also show that the most likely mechanism behind this finding is the application of a ‘consensus heuristic’, by which respondents use majority opinion as a cue to identify legitimate decisions. In contrast, procedural features such as the consultation of interest groups or the inclusiveness of decision making in the institutions have little effect on legitimacy beliefs. These findings suggest that policy makers can address legitimacy deficits by strengthening majority representation, which will have both egotropic and sociotropic effects.
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Wahlen bilden den institutionellen Kern der repräsentativen Demokratie. Als reine Techniken, um Personen für Führungsämter zu bestimmen, sind sie jedoch nicht a priori demokratisch. Die Beschreibung „demokratisch“ verdienen sie nur, wenn sie kompetitiv, also durch effektiven Wettbewerb gekennzeichnet sind.
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Chapter 4 presented evidence that German legal language is relatively stable, as compared to the other countries studied so far. Patterns in legislative language there are platykurtic—where variations in linguistic styles are bunched closer to the mean than would be expected with a normal distribution. There was also the lowest degree of skew amongst the five countries surveyed for this book. This means that outliers to normal patterns of linguistic use are not only rare, those outlying instances do not skew the overall distribution.
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Before the US Civil War, just two pieces of federal law were invalidated by judicial review. These cases were settled over fifty years apart, with Marbury v. Madison in 1803, and Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857. Since 1960, by contrast, the US Supreme Court has nullified in whole or in part an average of eight state or federal laws per year. The task of this chapter is to explain the policy influence of US judges. The chapter offers a computer-assisted analysis of the Federal Criminal Code since the 1940s. There is evidence of indeterminacy in American statecraft that, as with the UK, signifies policy complexity and ambivalence. This indeterminacy as to what is lawful will be settled by judges through reconciliation of loose constitutional language and increasingly loose legislative languages. The chapter therefore considers evidence that judicialisation of federal judges was consequent on the state of law they have had to interpret.
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The traditional welfare state, which emerged as a response to industrialization, is not well equipped to address the challenges of today's postindustrial knowledge economies. Experts and policymakers have therefore called for welfare state readjustment towards a “social investment” model (focusing on human skills and capabilities). Under what conditions are citizens willing to accept such future‐oriented reforms? We point at the crucial but hitherto neglected role of citizens’ trust in and satisfaction with government. Trust and satisfaction matter because future‐oriented reforms generate uncertainties, risks, and costs, which trust and government satisfaction can attenuate. We offer micro‐level causal evidence using experiments in a representative survey covering eight European countries and confirm these findings with European Social Survey data for 22 countries. We find: trust and government satisfaction increase reform support and moderate the effects of self‐interest and ideological standpoints. These findings have crucial implications not least because they help explain why some countries manage – but others fail – to enact important reforms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Recent empirical evidence from post-communist Southeast Europe suggests that state capture is no longer limited to opportunities for rent extraction and the economic gain of businesspersons, oligarchs, tycoons, and individual politicians. Rather, it offers political parties a potent means of survival, allowing them to win the next elections and maintain political office. In this article, I look into what kind of research these developments, which have been seen across Southeast Europe, demand. I revisit the three issues that have remained understudied from the perspective of party state capture since the publication of initial research on the topic by O’Dwyer and Grzymała-Busse in the mid-2000s. These are the organization of political parties, the nature of public administration, and the measurement of state capture. I claim that party patronage has become the regional political parties’ main activity, with parties being transformed into a pool for the recruitment of future party-loyal public officials tasked to extract public funds. As a consequence, the public administration sees a radical re-politicization, the elimination of professional standards, and the large-scale abuse of public funds. These changes enable a more objective measurement of the cost of state capture.
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Partisans rarely punish their party at the polls for violating democratic norms or cheating in elections. However, we know little about the underlying reasons. I examine why partisans rarely sanction in-party malpractice. Using pre-registered survey experiments in Denmark and Mexico, I examine the different steps in how partisans adjust their views in response to revelations of electoral malpractice and distinguish between two substantively different explanations. Do pervasive biases prevent partisans from viewing in-party malpractice as illegitimate? Or, do partisans accurately update their views when learning about malpractice but refrain from voting against their party? The analysis demonstrates that partisans do not apply double standards when evaluating malpractice. However, although partisans punish in-party malpractice, they hold opposing parties in such low esteem that even revelations of malpractice do not change their minds. These findings contribute to our understanding of how partisans think about electoral malpractice and political malfeasance more broadly.
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One of the challenges for global media ethics is to define a theoretical perspective from which to adjudicate cross-cultural value conflicts. Early work in this field attempted to identify a universal norm from which the specific, applied norms of media professions and practices could be derived. However, postcolonial and pluralist critiques have revealed potential problems with this approach. To avoid such problems, neo-Aristotelian critiques have proposed focusing less on defining universal norms of obligated action and more on acknowledging local variations in conceptions of the good life. These critiques rightly stress the goal of understanding the diversity of ethical values both within and across cultures. However, when the goal of media ethics is to provide guidance for cooperative resolutions of value conflicts, the generalizability of norms remains an important issue. This article reframes this debate more as a division of labor than as a rivalry in approaches.
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Due to the historical centrality of presidents in Latin America, we argue that presidential approval can be a source of group membership among citizens, creating a division between “ingroups” and “outgroups.” We test the effects of such division on tolerant attitudes toward the rights of system critics to participate in political life in four ways (from the least to the most threatening for the ingroup): voting, giving speeches on television, running for office, and demonstrating peacefully. We further argue that this effect is conditioned by the economic context, and that the ingroup/outgroup divide is activated when an economy performs poorly. Analysis of the AmericasBarometer 2018/2019 survey is consistent with our expectations. Specifically, our results suggest that the main predictor for tolerant attitudes is presidential approval, and that the individual-level effect dissipates in a context of good performance of the economy, which causes the presidential ingroup to not feel threatened by any outgroup.
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Individuals with more favorable evaluations of government performance exhibit higher trust in the political system. People also tend to put more confidence in political institutions led by the party they support or identify with. This paper examines the relative importance of these two factors—performance evaluation and electoral winner status—on political trust in the context of strong, and increasing, partisan polarization. Based on the motivated reasoning thesis, we hypothesize that the winner effect and performance evaluations are intertwined, and voters’ evaluations of government performance are filtered through ‘party-tinted glasses.’ Our analysis relies on two waves of the Polish Panel Survey carried out in 2013 and 2018, i.e., before and after the 2015 parliamentary election, which brought a clear shift in power. Results of fixed-effects models show that electoral winner status has a substantial effect on trust in parliament both directly and indirectly, via performance evaluations. We further find that winner status moderates the effect of evaluations of economic performance on trust in parliament: trust among winners is less dependent on evaluations of the economy than among losers and non-voters. We interpret these findings in the context of high and increasing polarization in Poland.
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This article challenges the widespread notion that national elections are unequivocally good for people’s satisfaction with democracy. Instead, it argues that elections have enduring and disparate effects on democratic satisfaction, depending on the economic situation in which they take place; that is the election economy. When held during economic upturns, national elections increase subsequent satisfaction with democracy during most of the following electoral term—regardless of election results and economic growth after the election. When held during economic downturns, elections reduce democratic satisfaction until the next election—again, regardless of such post-election developments. An analysis of 29 European democracies in the period 1973–2019 supports these propositions and suggests that the disparate effects of national elections endure during most of the electoral term. These findings are robust to an array of model specifications, including when accounting for several pre-election and post-election developments.
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We investigate the influence of social contexts on democratic attitudes. We use a novel survey data set with data from a nationally representative sample of Polish residents (egos) and their friends and acquaintances (alters). Controlling for several factors defined on the ego‐ and alter‐levels, we find a positive relationship between alters’ and ego's endorsement of democracy over nondemocratic alternatives. This effect is stronger the higher the number of close friends and acquaintances and when all friends know each other. We find a positive relationship between the average preference of democracy in the social context and an individual endorsement of democracy. Confirmed moderators of this relationship may be cautiously interpreted as measuring the degree to which the context structures political communication between egos and alters.
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Drawing on earlier work, the chapter rescues the concept of party non-systems, characterized by continuously high levels of extra-systemic volatility, such that the political universe lacks systemic political parties. The perusal of inter-temporal electoral volatility reveals that Peru adheres to this categorization. Operating in a complex political setting, Peruvian citizens evaluate politics and engage in electoral decision-making calculi utilizing the heuristic of political personal brands, which this chapter conceptualizes as a combination of ascriptive, socialization, and subjective personality traits. In addition, the concept of a “negative legitimacy environment” is here advanced, which describes a political ecosystem comprised of three elements: the prevalence of negative personal brands and negative partisanship; a priori mass public preferences for political outsiders and newcomers; and a party-unattached floating voter electorate. The last part of the chapter explains how negative legitimacy environments contribute to high political uncertainty and instability, compressed political time, and incumbent disadvantage.
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As representative democracy is increasingly criticized, a new institution is becoming popular among academics and practitioners: deliberative citizens’ assemblies. To evaluate whether these assemblies can deliver their promise of re‐engaging the dissatisfied of representative politics, we explore who supports them and why. We build on a unique survey conducted with representative samples of 15 Western European countries and find, first, that the most supportive are those who are less educated, have a low sense of political competence and an anti‐elite sentiment. Thus, support does come from the dissatisfied. Second, we find that this support is for a part ‘outcome contingent’, in the sense that it changes with respondents’ expectations regarding the policy outcome from deliberative citizens’ assemblies. This second finding nuances the first one and suggests that while deliberative citizens’ assemblies convey some hope to re‐engage disengaged citizens, this is conditioned to the expectation of a favourable outcome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Local consultative referendums are a widely used democratic innovation. Nevertheless, there is still limited knowledge about the local effects following a referendum, especially in terms of how the public reactions varies given if a citizen has been on the winning or on the losing side of the referendum. The purpose with this study is therefore to add to this line of research by assessing how a local referendum about a municipal merger affects external political efficacy and political trust within a local community. By analysing two cross-sectional datasets collected in a bilingual Finnish municipality before a merger referendum, in 2018 (N = 6,686), and after the referendum, in 2020 (N = 3,133), as a pseudo-experiment of effects of a municipal merger, we show that the aggregated levels of external political efficacy and political trust have increased and vary based on being on the winning or losing side of the referendum.
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Recent work suggests that collective narcissism—an exaggerated, unrealistic belief in an in-group’s greatness that demands constant external validation—is a reliable predictor of authoritarian-populist hostility toward democratic norms, processes, and outcomes. In the present study, we use a recent survey of American adults to examine the relationship between collective narcissism and perceptions that the 2020 election in the US was illegitimate. We find evidence that those high in national collective narcissism are more likely to endorse a number of beliefs about the illegitimacy of the 2020 US election, including greater perception of fraud, procedural unfairness, and inaccurate vote counting. Importantly, we find that this relationship is strongest among those whose identities were most threatened by a loss of power due to the 2020 presidential outcome, i.e., Republicans and conservative identifiers.
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A growing literature examines the motivations and outcomes of high‐level public diplomacy, the international visits of top‐level leaders. That literature looks primarily at the impact of visits from major leaders, like U.S. presidents, on their approval from voters in the host country. This article asks, instead, whether visits to and from the United States can affect the approval of the foreign leader among their voters back home. Using monthly data from the Executive Approval Project for 32 nations from 1991 to 2020, results suggest that foreign leader travel to the United States improves their approval, but neither presidential nor secretary of state visits impact foreign leader approval.
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Objetivo/contexto: el apoyo ciudadano a la democracia está en cuestión. En el caso de América Latina, los indicadores de apoyo a la democracia han mostrado descensos marcados durante toda la última década. Esto es particularmente evidente en los países de la región andina, donde los retrocesos recientes en la legitimidad de las instituciones democráticas han estado acompañados de procesos electorales problemáticos y profundamente cuestionados por sus ciudadanos. Metodología: empleando datos recientes de dos de las principales fuentes de información de opinión pública comparativa disponibles para América Latina, el Barómetro de las Américas y la Encuesta Mundial de Valores, este trabajo se enfoca en indicadores de apoyo ciudadano a la democracia en cuatro países de la región andina (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú) e indaga el efecto que la aprobación del Gobierno tiene sobre estos. Se emplea un diseño metodológico que reconoce distintos niveles en el apoyo a la democracia y se discute la hipótesis de que los efectos deberían ser distintos entre los niveles analizados. Conclusiones: los resultados muestran que los niveles más concretos o superficiales de apoyo a la democracia son influenciados más fuertemente por la posición política de las personas, mientras que en la mayor parte de los casos las diferencias no llegan al nivel de los valores que sustentan la democracia. Originalidad: la metodología permite identificar la multidimensionalidad del apoyo ciudadano a la democracia y cómo este apoyo, según el nivel, depende de distintos factores. Las conclusiones muestran evidencia de la existencia de dinámicas comunes a distintas sociedades en relación con la democracia.
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The literature on comparative political institutions highlights a tradeoff between majoritarian/plurality and proportional/consensus models of democracy. The former arrangement is said to enhance party responsibility and single-party accountability. The latter promotes representation of a range of parties offering voters clear choices, with a coalition of multiple parties governing. The tradeoff is that the representativeness of multi-party coalitions can make it difficult for voters to hold government accountable, while responsible single-party governments that facilitate accountability fail to represent a range of parties in government. There is also public opinion literature that speaks to serious limits on a person's ability to know basic facts about political institutions, let alone have preferences for a party system that reflects democratic norms of responsibility and representativeness. We assess public preferences for different types of party systems and find evidence that preferences for single-party systems versus multi-party systems suggest people link democratic norms of accountability and representativeness to the party system that promotes the respective norm. Preferences are also associated with partisan self-interest and the party system that people are familiar with.
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This article seeks to gain a deeper understanding on the relationship between polarisation and political trust in multiparty systems by examining the effect of different indicators of affective and ideological polarisation on the withinindividual variation of political trust over time. Using unique data collected from two separate online survey panels in Spain, our findings show that in multiparty contexts it is important to use two different measures of affective polarisation, as they have two distinct effects on political trust. While in-group affective polarisation tends to increase political trust, out-group polarisation has a negative impact on within-individual levels of trust in all democratic institutions. The latter effect is much stronger, adding nuance to existing explanations of the overall decline in political trust Observed in many democracies in contemporary democracies.
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This chapter outlines the purposes of our research, introduces its theoretical framework and discusses the methodology for gathering and analysing data. Having conceptualised and operationalised the category of electoral defeat, we discuss the relationship between electoral setbacks and party change, pointing to mutual connotations and correlations. We then move on to explain approaches to studying electoral defeats and changes within political parties and place the perspective adopted for the purpose of this book in the research context. Next, we propose a comprehensive model for analysing the impact of electoral defeat on intentional and unintentional changes within political parties. The chapter concludes with a section explaining the selection of the cases analysed, both the larger sample (73 parties from 28 European countries) and the small sample that is the subject of in-depth analyses regarding post-defeat narratives. We describe how the mixed method scheme was used to answer questions about the factors that determine the character, depth, scope and outcomes of changes introduced by European political parties in the aftermath of electoral losses.KeywordsConceptualisation of defeatOperationalisation of researchMethods and data selection
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Does ideological polarization undermine or strengthen people’s principled support for democracy? In this study, we suggest that different manifestations of ideological polarization have different implications in this respect. Using data from 11 surveys conducted with representative samples of the adult populations of a group of liberal democratic countries, part of the Comparative National Elections Project, we look at how people’s level of ideological extremism and their perceptions of ideological polarization in their countries’ party systems are related with their support for democracy. We show that citizens who hold more extreme ideological positions are indeed less supportive of democracy and that such a negative relationship is strengthened as citizens’ extremism increases. However, we also show that the citizens who display higher levels of principled support for democracy are those who perceive parties to be neither too distant nor too close to each other in ideological terms. In other words, while a very polarized partisan supply seems to undermine popular commitment with democracy, very low polarization may have similar consequences.
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In recent years, political scientists have begun to pay greater attention to political institutions and questions of institutional change. This article addresses a question that has been relatively ignored in the literature: What shapes mass opinion toward institutional and constitutional change? We develop two broad kinds of explanations of how voters see institutions. One is grounded in a conception of voters as self-interested actors, and the other considers a more ideological and psychological approach. We find empirical evidence consistent with both arguments. Using a broad categorization developed by Tsebelis (1990), we find that part of the answer to how voters see institutions lies in the kinds of institutions voters are being asked about: Different institutions prompt very different responses from different types of voters.
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Compared with most political institutions, the American party system has endured for a long time. The parties as organizations and symbols have become so much a part of our thinking about politics that we generally overlook the possibility of their eventual decline. One of the parties indeed has existed nearly as long as the republic itself; it thus antedates all but a few of the modern nations of the Western world. The basic form of the party system—two major, decentralized, ideologically diffuse parties—has remained generally intact throughout its lifespan. The system of parties as a principle of political organization has been extended in some form to every level and branch of government. When the persistence of the party system has been most in jeopardy—as in the period of the Civil War—it has managed always to reestablish itself. On the criteria of duration, constancy of form, degree of penetration of other political institutions and response to stress, the record of the party system has been one of marked success. This is not to say that there has been no variability in this performance. Constraints were present from the very beginning of party life in this country and have continued—with changing levels of severity—over the years. The failure of the parties to become part of the formal constitutional structure reflects a lack of full legitimation which has proved difficult to overcome.
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This field experiment investigated the effects of the act of voting itself on voters' attitudes in the 1984 presidential election. The subjects were 139 voters who were interviewed either on entering or immediately on departing the polling place. They responded to questions concerning the chances of their candidates being elected president, the outcome of the presidential vote locally, their perceived closeness to their candidates on the issues, and to a non-political question (concerning the beauty of the fall foliage) designed to detect any generalized mood changes as a result of voting. The results showed that people were significantly more confident of their candidates' chances after voting than before, even controlling for any generalized optimism (p < .02). Voting for a presidential candidate had an effect only on expectations concerning the outcome of the race for the presidency, and not on seemingly related questions. The experiment replicates and clarifies previous findings on the effects of post-decision dissonance on attitudes in natural settings.
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In the study of politics, as in political life, is not always an accurate description. Recent models of the interelection dynamics of support for British governing parties illustrate the point. Unlike their traditional rivals that accorded pride of place to macroeconomic indicators, especially inflation and unemployment rates, the new models have focused on the effects of voters' subjective evaluations of economic conditions and their assessments of the performance of the prime minister. fn1 By incorporating these variables, analysts have articulated aggregate party support models more closely to the micro-analytical literature on voting behaviour and election outcomes. To date, however, another variable, party identification, that has been the subject of longstanding controversies in that literature, has been neglected because of a lack of appropriate time-series data. Such data are now available, and they enable one to investigate the dynamics and determinants of British , fn2 and to incorporate party identification variables in vote intention and prime ministerial approval models. This Note does so in a study of Conservative party support over the January 1992–November 1995 period.
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This article shows how the ruling party of Korea, the DJP, chose and implemented a strategy to win the 13th National Assembly election of 1988 and explains why that strategy failed. In addition, this election is analyzed in a more general context. The authors find, for example that the preference of a party over electoral systems is determined by the spatial distribution of its votes and that the choice of an electoral system is the outcome of a bargaining process among the parties. In the context of democratization, the Korean experience shows that the democratic reform policies of an authoritarian government are shaped by the interplay between the ruling party's desire to create a political system wherein they maintain power and the constraints to create a system that would channel the opposition's activities into electoral or institutional outlets.
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Empirical theories of electoral and legislative politics can be used to build propositions about the consequences of constitutional designs for citizen electroal control. This article reports preliminary tests of such propositions. Constitutional arrangements in 16 democracies are compared to the degree of clarity of responsibility, opportunity for party choice, decisiveness of elections and effective representation in policy-making, before and after elections. Previous work had suggested that different models of citizen control require different combinations of these characteristics. The preliminary analysis shows constitutional designs that emphasized majoritarian election laws and government dominance in the legislature generally succeeded in creating conditions for the Government Accountability and, to a lesser degree, Government Mandate models of citizen control, but did poorly in creating conditions for the Representative Delegate model. The consensual constitutional designs were generally successful only in creating conditions for the Representative Delegate model. However, much additional work remains.
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Journal of Democracy 8.3 (1997) 125-138 Tables Public Opinion in New Democracies In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the way in which democracy has become rooted in Latin America, one must consider not only the formal and institutional bases of politics, but also the nonrational or prerational cultural traits that form such an important part of the region's soul. During the last half-century in particular, writers from Mexico's Octavio Paz and Colombia's Gabriel García Márquez to Argentina's Julio Cortázar and Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa have sought to describe this soul. Their works offer insights into the deeper attitudes toward life and society that lie beneath political beliefs and behavior. In The Labyrinth of Solitude, Paz described the Mexican soul and in the process touched on problems that affect the whole region and underlie the process of democratic consolidation in Latin America today: The North Americans are credulous and we are believers; they love fairy tales and detective stories and we love myths and legends. The Mexican tells lies because he delights in fantasy, or because he is desperate, or because he wants to rise above the sordid facts of his life; the North American does not tell lies, but he substitutes social truth for the real truth, which is always disagreeable. We get drunk in order to confess; they get drunk in order to forget. They are optimists and we are nihilists. . . . We are suspicious and they are trusting. We are sorrowful and sarcastic and they are happy and full of jokes. North Americans want to understand and we want to contemplate. They are activists and we are quietists; we enjoy our wounds and they enjoy their inventions. . . . What is the origin of such contradictory attitudes? It seems to me that North Americans consider the world to be something that can be perfected, and that we consider it to be something that can be redeemed. Given the history of the region, with its legacy of Spanish (as well as Portuguese) colonialism followed by the rule of large landowners and the prevalence of poverty and authoritarianism, it is not surprising to recognize the origin of the common tendencies that Latin Americans have developed as a consequence: to remain silent regarding their true feelings and intentions, and to emphasize appearances. Silence and appearance -- the twin progeny of distrust -- have historically been crucial tools for survival. The habits of keeping silent and maintaining appearances underlie the attitudes, opinions, and behaviors that are at the center of the Latin American soul. Paz describes this attitude as a "smiling mask." The data presented below will show that deeply rooted sociocultural traits remain highly relevant to democracy in Latin America. The region has many a democracy that belies social-science generalizations about the prerequisites necessary for that form of government. One could say that in some cases, democracy itself is a kind of smiling mask that has learned to survive through silence about lingering authoritarian institutions and practices (as in Chile), or through the appearance of a party system with effectively one party, as in Mexico. Latin American democracies have had to come to grips with myriad institutional and political problems: the organization of parties, the recruitment of younger generations into key elites, the fostering of stable, nonpatrimonialist public administration, and the like. Brazil and Venezuela have weathered corruption scandals serious enough to have brought down presidents. More recently, Ecuador has worked its way through a constitutional crisis in which Congress deposed a populist president, Abdalá Bucaram, who was leading the country into deep political and economic turmoil. More than a few Latin American democracies have had to grapple with grave economic problems left behind by outgoing military regimes. Acting against a background of excessive public spending, inefficient systems of taxation, and cumbersome state structures, many newly democratizing or redemocratizing countries have turned to economic reform, privatizing state-run companies and making the government more of a regulator than an owner. Along with privatization, Latin American democracies have embraced market liberalization and the elimination of commercial barriers in their quest to achieve higher economic growth and lower inflation. In some countries, such as...
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Tested the hypothesis that giving a person a difficult opportunity to revoke a discrepant action will increase attitude change in the direction of consistency with the action. 59 undergraduate males completed a questionnaire on reactions to college issues. 40 Ss were induced to record a speech arguing for a position discrepant with their prior attitudes. In confirmation of the hypothesis, Ss given an opportunity to record a substitute speech at an inconvenient time and place changed their attitudes more toward consistency with the action than those not given the opportunity. The effect of the opportunity to revoke the action was greatest for Ss whose prior attitudes were most discrepant. An attempt to manipulate directly the salience of the discrepancy between the action and prior attitudes was unsuccessful. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Summarizes research on placement of candidates on issues and discusses methodological problems in the detection of assimilation and contrast effects. An agreement coefficient, weighted kappa, is offered as an alternative to the standard procedures. Data from 1976 and 1980 election studies (Center for Political Studies; 1979, 1981) are analyzed by comparing the Pearson correlation coefficient, tau beta, and weighted kappa as alternative procedures for analyzing the relation between a person's own attitude and the issue position attributed to a candidate. These procedures lead to the same conclusions, but kappa has the advantage that an agreement coefficient can be calculated for people at each attitudinal position. When this was done, the degree of assimilation of a preferred candidate did not vary consistently as a function of the person's attitude or the discrepancy from the candidate. In placing a nonpreferred candidate, subjective agreement varied as an inverted –U function of the respondent's own attitude. As the respondent's attitude became more extreme, or as the discrepancy from the nonpreferred candidate increased, subjective agreement decreased. When people at the extremes placed a nonpreferred candidate, subjective agreement was less than chance, and this can indicate contrast. In 1980, issue involvement enhanced the tendency to assimilate a preferred candidate but had no reliable effect on contrast of a nonpreferred candidate. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The authors tested predictions concerning the effects of respondents' identification with governing versus opposition political parties on feelings of political efficacy and trust, using data from the 1984 Canadian National Election Study. Dependent variables were political competence, perceived system responsiveness, and political trust, each measured federally and provincially. Respondents who supported the party in power scored significantly higher on perceived responsiveness and trust than those who supported opposition parties, although mainly at the provincial level. Whether respondents' preferred party was in power or not interacted with strength of party identification on the responsiveness and trust measures, both federally and provincially, as expected. Effects were much less pronounced for feelings of political competence. The authors suggest an interpretation to explain the weaker and inconsistent federal results. The article concludes with some observations concerning the relationship between partisanship, on the one hand, and efficacy and trust, on the other.
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The paper examines voters’ capacity to determine which of the three main parties (the Liberals, the Conservatives, and the New Democratic Party) was weakest in their constituency in the 1988 Canadian election. We find that half of the voters correctly identified the party that would finish third in their constituency. Voters who did not identify with the third party and who were well informed were generally able to predict correctly which party would finish third. The rational expectations condition did not hold so well among other subgroups of the electorate.
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It is well known that the average government loses votes--the so-called cost of ruling. The authors show that the loss can be explained as a perfectly rational demand for change in a median voter model once the model is amended to let the two parties be visibly different. Copyright 1995 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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The paper examines individual-level data from the first six waves of the British Household Panel Survey, 1991–96. The analysis shows that changes in party support in this period were significantly affected by two sets of factors that have traditionally been regarded as important sources of changes in voters' political preferences: ideology and personal economic experiences. Ideological change is demonstrated to have much stronger direct effects on party preference than economic factors. However, both objective economic conditions and subjective economic perceptions are shown to have significant effects on ideological change itself, implying that economic factors also exert important indirect effects on voters' partisan preferences. These individual-level findings provide important corroboration for the results of aggregate-level studies, which have consistently found that economic factors—and in particular economic perceptions—play a major role in determining patterns of partisan support.