The Development of Political Legitimacy Among MPs and Citizens in Old and Young Democracies

Faculty/Professorship: Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration 
Author(s): Hoffmann-Lange, Ursula  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2023
Pages: 35-59
Source/Other editions: Elites and People: Challenges to Democracy / Engelstad, Fredrik, Gulbrandsen, Trygve, Mangset, Marte, Teigen, Marie (Hg). - Bingley (UK) : Emerald, 2019, S. 35-59. - ISBN: 978-1-83867-916-3. DOI: 10.1108/S0195-631020190000034003
is version of: 10.1108/S0195-631020190000034003
Year of first publication: 2019
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC - Attribution - NonCommercial 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-582975
The contribution starts out from the question whether the political legitimacy of the Third Wave democracies has suffered in the wake of the Great Recession. The expectation of a damaging effect of an economic or political crisis on legitimacy is based on Lipset’s assumption that established democracies with a high degree of political legitimacy are better capable of coping with such crises than young democracies. The database includes two surveys of members of parliament conducted in 2007 and 2013 in Sweden, Germany and five Third Wave democracies located in different world regions (Chile, South Korea, Poland, South Africa and Turkey). Waves 5 and 6 of the World Values Survey that were conducted at about the same time were used for comparing the legitimacy beliefs among MPs and citizens. The data show that the scores for all indicators of political legitimacy are higher among MPs than among citizens and that the differences between the two groups of respondents are considerably larger in the five young democracies. Confidence in political parties is fairly low, especially among citizens, while the evaluation of the quality of democracy in the respondents’ country is much higher. Both evaluations have been rather stable over time. In the two established democracies, support for democracy among citizens is nearly as high as among MPs. In the five young democracies, the MP-citizen differential is larger and support for democracy in the population shows a steady increase only in Chile, while it has remained low in Poland and Turkey and even decreased in Korea and South Africa. This indicates that democracy has not taken deep roots in four of the five new democracies included in the study. In Korea and South Africa, the decline in support for democracy started already before the onset of the economic crisis and therefore cannot be attributed to the recession. This is confirmed by the lack of a statistical relationship between political legitimacy on one side and economic evaluations on the other side. A multiple regression analysis shows strong country-specific effects, while individual-level variables have only minor effects.
GND Keywords: Demokratie; Legitimität; Internationaler Vergleich
Keywords: political legitimacy, support for democracy, confidence in political parties, elite-mass differences, consolidation of democracy, political effects of the Great Recession
DDC Classification: 320 Political Science  
RVK Classification: MD 3550   
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 13. February 2023

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