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MINDING THE GAP BETWEEN EXPECTATIONS AND PERCEPTIONS OF DEMOCRACY

Todd Donovan, Jeffrey Karp

Resumo


Studies of perceptions of democratic performance and satisfaction with democracy may over estimate effects of electoral rules on attitudes if country-level corruption and income inequality are not accounted for.  We use mixed-level models to estimate evaluations of democracy using data from Wave 6 of the European Social Survey.  We use new measures of democratic expectations about elections and party systems along with the 'satisfaction with democracy' item to test for effects of electoral rules on perceptions of democracy.  We replicate previous studies and find multipartyism and preferential ballot structure correspond with positive evaluations of elections and parties, and greater satisfaction with how democracy is functioning in a person's country.  However, these relationships dissipate when we account for corruption and income inequality. This suggests we should exercise caution when linking electoral systems and electoral reforms to democratic legitimacy and perceptions of democratic performance.

Palavras-chave


Democracia; Eleições; Multipartidarismo

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