Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy

Christopher J. Anderson, André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan and Ola Listhaug

in Losers' Consent

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276387
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602719 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy

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Provides an overview of the argument. Describes how elections produce unequal outcomes—for some to win, others have to lose. Also highlights the importance of losers’ consent for understanding political legitimacy. Losers’ consent is critical for democratic systems to function because losers are numerous; in part, it is important because of the incentives that losing creates. Also describes examples of graceful and sore losers in various countries around the world. Concludes by providing an alternative view of elections as institutional mechanisms that can enhance or diminish the legitimacy of political systems.

Keywords: Al Gore; consent; democracy; election outcomes; elections; legitimacy; losers; political behaviour; voting; winners

Chapter.  6186 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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