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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

Modernization, Globalization, and Satisfaction with Democracy

Modernization, Globalization, and Satisfaction with Democracy

(p.37) 3 Modernization, Globalization, and Satisfaction with Democracy
Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy Crisis

Kees Aarts

Carolien van Ham

Jacques Thomassen

Oxford University Press

This chapter tests the validity of the major propositions of modernization and globalization theories. Modernization theory attributes legitimacy decline to the socioeconomic and cultural transformation of advanced industrial societies after the Second World War, leading to value change and cognitive mobilization among citizens, while globalization theory attributes legitimacy decline to the negative consequences of (economic) globalization for citizens of lower socioeconomic status in advanced industrial societies. This chapter evaluates the empirical evidence for the effects of individual modernization and of economic globalization on political support, differentiating between citizens of lower and higher socioeconomic status. Using Eurobarometer data on political support from 1973 to 2015, the authors show that political support in most countries has increased among both the higher educated and lower educated. To the extent that there is support for the globalization thesis, the increase in satisfaction with democracy has been less pronounced among the lower educated, generating a widening “satisfaction gap.”

Keywords:   modernization theory, globalization theory, political support, satisfaction with democracy, legitimacy decline, satisfaction gap

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