Mapping Political Support in the 1990s: A Global Analysis

Hans‐Dieter Klingemann

in Critical Citizens

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295686
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600043 | DOI:
Mapping Political Support in the 1990s: A Global Analysis

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The main goal of this chapter is to use an extensive body of comparative survey research to map patterns and forms of political support across a wide range of political conditions. While the goal is primarily descriptive, at least two themes emerge: first, there are no major trends suggesting a decline in support for democracy as a form of government in the abstract or as applied to existing democratic experience, and certainly, no evidence of a crisis of democracy; second, the fact of dissatisfaction does not imply danger to the persistence or furtherance of democracy. A significant number of people around the world can be labelled ‘dissatisfied democrats’, they clearly approve of democracy as a mode of governance, but they remain discontented with the way their own system is currently operating. This chapter exploits the resources of the World Values Surveys to map certain key elements of political support among the mass publics in established, consolidating, and non‐democracies. Specifically, it develops indices fitted reasonably well to three forms of support: for the political community; for regime principles or democracy as an ideal form of government; and approval of the regime's performance. Attitudes towards these three dimensions are examined through cross‐national surveys.

Keywords: democratic governance; democratic government; established democracies; experimental democracies; newer democracies; political community; political support; political trust; public opinion; regime performance; regime principles; systems support; would‐be democracies

Chapter.  9592 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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