The Implications of the Euro Crisis for Democracy
The question of whether European democracy is in crisis is not new, but is posed in a new way in the shadow of the euro crisis. In the tradition of the studies of democratic support and disaffection and based on data from the European Social Survey 2012, this article analyses the conceptions and evaluations of democracy in the different regions of Europe under the impact of the euro crisis. It shows that the perceived poor performance of the economy and of the government in the crisis, indeed, leads citizens across Europe to evaluate the way their national democracy works more critically – especially in the hard hit regions of Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, and in authoritarian countries. However, it also shows that this critical evaluation of democracy does not undermine the citizens’ support for democracy. Quite to the contrary: democratic principles are actually strengthened by the dissatisfaction of the citizens with the economic and political performance of their countries in the crisis.