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Regular version of the site

Book

How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Academic editor: M. Ferrín, H. Kriesi.

Based on a new dataset of the European Social Survey covering twenty-nine European and neighboring countries, this volume presents how, in 2012, Europeans view and evaluate democracy—their conceptions of democracy, how they assess the quality of democracy in their own country, and to what extent they consider their country’s democracy as legitimate. In a nutshell, the study shows that Europeans share a common view of liberal democracy, which is complemented by elements of social and direct democracy. However, the level of the citizens’ demands in terms of democracy varies considerably across Europe and is related to their assessments of democracy: the worse the quality of democracy in a given country, the higher the respective demands on democracy. Overall, Europeans are quite satisfied with liberal democracy, rather neutral with regard to direct democracy, but very dissatisfied with social democracy. The real democratic deficit in Europe concerns the social democratic vision of democracy. The analysis of the determinants of democratic views and evaluations shows that they depend on the political and economic (but less on the cultural) context conditions.

Chapters
How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy