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Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy CrisisExplaining Trends and Cross-National Differences in Established Democracies$
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Carolien van Ham, Jacques Thomassen, Kees Aarts, and Rudy Andeweg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198793717

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198793717.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

A Legitimacy Crisis of Representative Democracy?

A Legitimacy Crisis of Representative Democracy?

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 A Legitimacy Crisis of Representative Democracy?
Source:
Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy Crisis
Author(s):

Jacques Thomassen

Carolien van Ham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198793717.003.0001

This chapter presents the research questions and outline of the book, providing a brief review of the state of the art of legitimacy research in established democracies, and discusses the recurring theme of crisis throughout this literature since the 1960s. It includes a discussion of the conceptualization and measurement of legitimacy, seeking to relate legitimacy to political support, and reflecting on how to evaluate empirical indicators: what symptoms indicate crisis? This chapter further explains the structure of the three main parts of the book. Part I evaluates in a systematic fashion the empirical evidence for legitimacy decline in established democracies; Part II reappraises the validity of theories of legitimacy decline; and Part II investigates what (new) explanations can account for differences in legitimacy between established democracies. The chapter concludes with a short description of the chapters included in the volume.

Keywords:   legitimacy, political support, conceptualization and measurement, legitimacy crisis, theories of legitimacy decline, levels of political support

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