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How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy

Mónica Ferrín and Hanspeter Kriesi


Based on a new dataset of the European Social Survey covering twenty-nine European and neighboring countries, this volume presents how, in 2012, Europeans view and evaluate democracy—their conceptions of democracy, how they assess the quality of democracy in their own country, and to what extent they consider their country’s democracy as legitimate. In a nutshell, the study shows that Europeans share a common view of liberal democracy, which is complemented by elements of social and direct democracy. However, the level of the citizens’ demands in terms of democracy varies considerably across E ... More

Keywords: democratic legitimacy, quality of democracy, views and evaluations of democracy, European Social Survey, models of democracy, democratic deficit

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198766902
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766902.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mónica Ferrín, editor
Researcher, University of Zürich

Hanspeter Kriesi, editor
Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics, the European University Institute

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1 Introduction: Democracy—the European Verdict

Mónica Ferrín and Hanspeter Kriesi

2 Constructing the Questionnaire

Lizzy Winstone, Sally Widdop, and Rory Fitzgerald

Part I Views of Democracy in Europe

4 The Structure of Europeans’ Views of Democracy

Hanspeter Kriesi, Willem Saris, and Paolo Moncagatta

5 How People Understand Democracy

Besir Ceka and Pedro C. Magalhães

Part II Evaluations of European Democracies

8 Citizens’ Evaluations of Democracy

Braulio Gómez and Irene Palacios

9 The Structure of the Evaluations of Democracy

Hanspeter Kriesi and Willem Saris

10 Explaining Citizens’ Evaluations of Democracy

Mariano Torcal and Alexander H. Trechsel

Part III Legitimacy of European Democracies

11 Democratic Legitimacy

Bernhard Weßels