The Structure of Europeans’ Views of Democracy
This chapter analyzes the structure of Europeans’ views of democracy, constructs three indices for democracy—for the three visions of liberal, social, and direct democracy, and provides a typology of democrats. It shows that the basic principles of liberal democracy are universally endorsed across Europe. Citizens across Europe share the same framework of the basic model of liberal democracy, but differ greatly as to the number of features they include in their vision of liberal democracy. The two visions beyond the basic model are closely associated with the basic model and serve as complements to it. We can safely conclude that a majority of Europeans have visions of democracy that include far more than the “realistic” minimum of the liberal democratic model, and that the citizens of the newly emerging democracies in Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe are the most acutely aware of what it takes to make democracy work.