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Political legitimacy in western Europe: Comparing people’s expectations and evaluations of democracy

Seyd, Ben (2020) Political legitimacy in western Europe: Comparing people’s expectations and evaluations of democracy. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, . ISSN 1745-7289. E-ISSN 1745-7297. (doi:10.1080/17457289.2020.1856121) (KAR id:84692)


Democratic legitimacy is sometimes measured by comparing what individuals expect of democracy with their evaluations of democratic performance. However, such composite measures hinder our understanding of whether any factors found to shape legitimacy do so through effects on expectations, through effects on evaluations or through effects on both. This article considers people’s democratic expectations and evaluations separately. By modelling each – along with their combination in a measure of legitimacy – it identifies the factors that shape each outcome, and in particular whether any effects on legitimacy run through what people expect of democracy or through how they evaluate democratic performance. Models are run for four different dimensions of democracy to test whether the factors shaping people’s attitudes vary between different aspects of the democratic system. The analysis is conducted using Wave 6 of the European Social Survey (2012-13) on populations across 16 west European countries. Analysis of individual country populations also enables us to identify whether the causes and mechanisms of democratic legitimacy vary between different national contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17457289.2020.1856121
Uncontrolled keywords: Democracy; Expectations; Evaluations; Legitimacy
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: 03 Dec 2020 14:17 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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