The Development of Political Legitimacy Among MPs and Citizens in Old and Young Democracies
Hoffmann-Lange, Ursula (2023): „The Development of Political Legitimacy Among MPs and Citizens in Old and Young Democracies“. Bamberg: Otto-Friedrich-Universität.
Year of publication:
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
Year of first publication:
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.
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support for democracy
confidence in political parties
consolidation of democracy
political effects of the Great Recession
Contribution to an Articlecollection
February 13, 2023