The Determinants of Democracy Satisfaction in Europe

Paolo Bellucci and Vincenzo Memoli

in Citizens and the European Polity

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602339
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199949908 | DOI:

Series: IntUne

The Determinants of Democracy Satisfaction in Europe

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This chapter analyses the character of democracy satisfaction at the national and European levels over the last four decades. A dimensional analysis of measures of democracy satisfaction, trust in institutions and satisfaction with government suggests that democracy satisfaction at both levels is probably best conceptualised as specific support for regime performance. Analysis of the sources of democracy satisfaction shows that satisfaction with national democracy increases with good economic performance, when corruption is low, when citizens are politically engaged, and when the electoral institutions ensure fair and wide representation. Satisfaction with European democracy reflects the aspiration that the integration process will produce benefits for both the economic well-being and for the political effectiveness of national political institutions.

Keywords: regime support; representation; trust in institutions; corruption; political engagement; benefits of EU membership; economic performance

Chapter.  11072 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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