Winning and Losing in Old and New Democracies

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 and Losing in Old and New Democracies

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Examines the dimensions of losers’ consent in old and new democracies. We expect that losing has stronger negative effects in new democracies relative to mature democracies since losers have not yet learned to lose in countries where democratic governance is of recent vintage. The results show that, with few exceptions, political losers have lower support levels than winners across all dimensions of political support, including beliefs in core principles of democracy. Moreover, we find that the winner–loser gap is more prominent in newly democratized and democratizing states. The data also indicate that the supporters of the old communist parties exhibit significantly lower levels of support for the democratic system than voters for other parties, and in particular, if they are not in power.

Keywords: communist parties; democratic transitions; Eastern Europe; election outcomes; elections; learning; legitimacy; losers; new democracies; satisfaction with democracy; system support; winners

Chapter.  11043 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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