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Exploring Political Disappointment

Seyd, Ben (2016) Exploring Political Disappointment. Parliamentary Affairs, 69 (2). pp. 327-347. ISSN 0031-2290. (doi:10.1093/pa/gsv018) (KAR id:47985)


Disappointment is often identified as a pathology of modern politics; citizens expect much of politicians, yet governments are ill-equipped to deliver outcomes commensurate with those expectations. The net result is said to be a widespread disappointment; a negative balance between what citizens expect of government and what they perceive governments to deliver. Yet little attention has hitherto been paid to which kinds of citizens are particularly disappointed with politics, and why. This article offers one of the first empirical analyses of political disappointment. Drawing on a survey conducted in Britain, it provides a quantitative measure of political disappointment and explores its prevalence among citizens. It then considers which social groups might be more prone to disappointment than others. In particular, it explores whether certain groups are more disappointed by virtue of holding very high expectations of government or very low perceptions of government performance. The article concludes by considering what strategies might be open to policy makers to alleviate political disappointment.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/pa/gsv018
Uncontrolled keywords: Disappointment, Expectations, Government performance, Democratic discontent, Political trust, Political knowledge
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Ben Seyd
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 16:55 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 02:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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