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Do institutions influence satisfaction with democracy?. Pippa Norris Harvard University. Enduring questions. Classic theoretical issues about political institutions: Do institutions influence growth, welfare and peace Previous classes; mixed evidence, research debate

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enduring questions
Enduring questions
  • Classic theoretical issues about political institutions:
    • Do institutions influence growth, welfare and peace
      • Previous classes; mixed evidence, research debate
    • Do institutions shape public opinion?
      • Attitudes: political legitimacy, representation, accountability, identity, satisfaction with democracy, and system support?
      • Behavior: Willingness to pay taxes, obey the law, protest and vote?
  • Empirical challenges:
    • What can rigorous cross-national evidence and comparative survey analysis tell us about these issues?
    • Do power-sharing institutions maximize public satisfaction with the way democracy works?
class structure
Class Structure
  • Theoretical framework: Context and theories of citizen satisfaction with democratic governance
      • Public evaluations of democratic institutions and processes
      • Public perceptions of policy performance
      • Institutional theories about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in power-sharing democracy
  • Research design, concepts, & data sources
  • Trend data and interpretation
  • Analysis of causes
  • Conclusions
i theoretical context
I. Theoretical context
  • Are American and European citizens increasingly disaffected with government and dissatisfied with democracy?
    • Anger exacerbated by recession?
    • E.g. In US, the resurgence of U.S. Tea Party and ‘patriot’ groups and anti-incumbency mood
  • If so, does this reflect a deeper failure of representative democracy?
democratic decline
Democratic decline?
  • Theorists speculate about democratic decline in Western post-industrial societies:
    • Colin Crouch ‘Post-democracy’, John Keane ‘death of democracy’, Colin Hay ‘people hate politics’
  • Decline in active citizenship, growing suspicion of party politics, and erosion of trust in government
  • Normative assumptions about ideal citizen?
democratic decline1
Democratic decline?
  • Western European evidence
    • Party identification has weakened (Dalton & Wattenburg),
    • Party membership has plummeted (Mair and Biezen),
    • Electoral turnout has fallen (Franklin),
    • Growing discontent with parties, parliament and governments (Dalton)
alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy
Alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy
  • Institutional performance?
      • Citizens rationally assess the quality of democratic institutions, such as respect for human rights, free and fair elections, corruption, and civil liberties within each state
      • Bratton and Mattes/Evans and Whitfield
  • Or policy performance?
      • Public evaluates the government’s record on delivering more specific economic, social, and foreign policy issues
      • Hay/ Dalton/ Clarke, Dutt and Kornberg
  • Power-sharing institutions
      • Institutional rules shape the distribution of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’
      • Winner-take-all rules maximize public dissatisfaction
      • Chris Andersen et al. ‘Loser’s Consent’ (OUP 2005)
power sharing model
Power-sharing model

Low<< Systems support >>High

Majoritarian institutions

Consensus institutions

Winners

Losers

multiple surveys
Multiple surveys
  • Focus on system support attitudes not behaviors
  • Time-series survey trends
      • Annual Euro-barometer surveys 1970s+
      • American National Election Study 1958-2008
      • NORC U.S. General Social Survey 1972+
  • Global comparisons
      • World Values Survey 1981-2007 in 90+ societies
      • Global-barometers 55 societies
multiple levels of systems support
Multiple Levels of Systems Support

<< Most specific Most diffuse >>

core concepts of book
Core concepts of book
  • Demand for democracy:
    • Those who aspire to democracy as the ideal form of government (normative values);
  • Supply of democracy:
    • Those who are skeptical when evaluating how democratically their own country is being governed (judgments of regime performance)
  • Democratic deficit:
    • Gap between demand (aspirations) and supply (satisfaction)
core measures
Core Measures

(i) Democratic aspirations: V162.”How important is it for you to live in a country that is governed democratically? On this scale where 1 means it is “not at all important” and 10 means “absolutely important” what position would you choose?” Standardized to 100-pts.

(ii) Democratic satisfaction: V163: “And how democratically is this country being governed today? Again using a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means that it is “not at all democratic” and 10 means that it is “completely democratic,” what position would you choose?” Standardized to 100-pts.

Democratic deficit: Mean difference between (i) and (ii).

Source: The World Values Survey 2005-7

democratic deficits
Democratic deficits

(i) Democratic aspirations: V162.”How important is it for you to live in a country that is governed democratically? On this scale where 1 means it is “not at all important” and 10 means “absolutely important” what position would you choose?” Standardized to 100-pts.

(ii) Democratic satisfaction: V163: “And how democratically is this country being governed today? Again using a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means that it is “not at all democratic” and 10 means that it is “completely democratic,” what position would you choose?” Standardized to 100-pts.Democratic deficit: Mean difference between (i) and (ii). Source: The World Values Survey 2005-7

interpretation of trends
Interpretation of trends
  • Where?
    • Similar trends across comparable societies?
    • Or erosion in specific nations? U.S. exceptionalism?
  • When?
    • Exact timing and significance of any fluctuations
  • What?
    • Politicians or democratic politics?
    • Specific or diffuse levels of systems support?
american trust in the federal government 1958 2008
American trust in the federal government, 1958-2008

Note: The standard ANES question is: “How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right -- just about always, most of the time or only some of the time?” The unstandardized beta regression coefficient proved significant (>001).

Source: The American National Election Surveys, 1958-2008

trust in the u s supreme court executive 1972 2006
Trust in the U.S. Supreme Court & Executive, 1972-2006

Note: “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?” The proportion reporting ‘a great deal’ of confidence in each institution. The linear trends summarize each series.

Source: U.S. General Social Survey cumulative file 1972-2006 http://publicdata.norc.org/webview/

trust in the u s congress 1972 2006
Trust in the U.S. Congress, 1972-2006

Note:  “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”The proportion reporting ‘a great deal’ of confidence in each institution. The linear trends summarize each series.

Source: U.S. General Social Survey cumulative file 1972-2006 http://publicdata.norc.org/webview/

u s trust in private sector
U.S trust in private sector

Note:  “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”The proportion reporting ‘a great deal’ of confidence in each institution. The linear trends summarize each series.

Source: U.S. General Social Survey cumulative file 1972-2006 http://publicdata.norc.org/webview/

european trust in national government 1997 2008
European trust in national government, 1997-2008

Note: “I would like to ask you a question about how much trust you have in certain institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you tend to trust it or tend not to trust it. The national government.” Proportion responding ‘Tend to trust’. OLS regression analysis was used to monitor the effects of time (the survey year) on trust in the national government, generating the unstandardized beta coefficient and its significance. *>.001 ** >.01 *>.05. Source: Eurobarometer surveys 1997-2008 downloaded from Gesis ZACAT.

european trust in parliament 1997 2008
European trust in parliament, 1997-2008

Note: “I would like to ask you a question about how much trust you have in certain institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you tend to trust it or tend not to trust it. The national parliament.” Proportion responding ‘Tend to trust’. OLS regression analysis was used to monitor the effects of time (the survey year) on trust in the national parliament, generating the unstandardized beta coefficient and its significance. *>.001 ** >.01 *>.05. Source: Eurobarometer surveys 1997-2008 downloaded from Gesis ZACAT.

european trust in political parties 1997 2008
European trust in political parties, 1997-2008

Note: “I would like to ask you a question about how much trust you have in certain institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you tend to trust it or tend not to trust it. Political parties.” Proportion responding ‘Tend to trust’. OLS regression analysis was used to monitor the effects of time (the survey year) on trust in political parties, generating the unstandardized beta coefficient and its significance. *>.001 ** >.01 *>.05.

Source: Eurobarometer surveys 1997-2008 downloaded from Gesis ZACAT.

european satisfaction with democratic performance
European satisfaction with democratic performance

Note: “On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with the way democracy works in your country?” Proportion responding ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied. OLS regression analysis was used to monitor the effects of time (the survey year) on trust in political parties, generating the unstandardized beta coefficient and its significance. *>.001 ** >.01 *>.05. Selected years presented.

european satisfaction with democratic performance1
European satisfaction with democratic performance

Note: “On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with the way democracy works in your country?” Proportion responding ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied. OLS regression analysis was used to monitor the effects of time (the survey year) on trust in political parties, generating the unstandardized beta coefficient and its significance. *>.001 ** >.01 *>.05. Selected years presented.

key findings
Key findings
  • No inevitable downward spiral in support evident across US or Western Europe
  • Fluctuations more common than linear falls
  • Enduring contrasts among countries and institutions
  • Therefore short-term explanations focused on probity and performance more likely than long-term secular shifts in cultural values
alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy1
Alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy
  • Institutional performance?
      • Citizens rationally assess the quality of democratic institutions, such as respect for human rights, free and fair elections, corruption, and civil liberties within each state
      • Bratton and Mattes/Evans and Whitfield
good governance institutions and democratic satisfaction
‘Good’ governance institutions and democratic satisfaction

Note: Democratic satisfaction:V163. “And how democratically is this country being governed today? Again using a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means that it is “not at all democratic” and 10 means that it is “completely democratic,” what position would you choose?” The summary good governance index is created by summing the six items (listed in Table 10.1) contained in the Kaufmann-Kraay indices, 2005. Source: World Values Survey, 2005-7

alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy2
Alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy
  • Institutional performance?
      • Citizens rationally assess the quality of democratic institutions, such as respect for human rights, free and fair elections, corruption, and civil liberties within each state
      • Bratton and Mattes/Evans and Whitfield
  • Or policy performance?
      • Public evaluates the government’s record on delivering more specific economic, social, and foreign policy issues
      • Hay/ Dalton/ Clarke, Dutt and Kornberg
alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy3
Alternative explanations of satisfaction with democracy
  • Institutional performance?
      • Citizens rationally assess the quality of democratic institutions, such as respect for human rights, free and fair elections, corruption, and civil liberties within each state
      • Bratton and Mattes/Evans and Whitfield
  • Or policy performance?
      • Public evaluates the government’s record on delivering more specific economic, social, and foreign policy issues
      • Hay/ Dalton/ Clarke, Dutt and Kornberg
  • Power-sharing institutions
      • Institutional rules shape the distribution of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’
      • Winner-take-all rules maximize public dissatisfaction
      • Chris Andersen et al. ‘Loser’s Consent’ (OUP 2005)
dem satisfaction and institutions
Dem satisfaction and institutions

Note: For the classification of institutions, see Norris (2008). The figure shows the mean levels of democratic satisfaction, measured by the standardized 100-point scale.

Source: World Values Survey 2005

dem satisfaction and institutions1
Dem satisfaction and institutions

Note: For the classification of institutions, see Norris (2008). Electoral ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ are defined by voting support for the largest party in the lower house of the national legislature.

Source: World Values Survey 2005

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Institutional Performance?
    • Democratic satisfaction is strongly related to all the contemporary and lagged indicators of how well regime works, reflecting the quality of democracy and good governance
      • Policy performance?
        • Democratic satisfaction unrelated to many indicators of policy performance eg social indices, unemployment, and poverty rates
      • Power-sharing institutions?
        • Mixed results
  • Details: www.pippanorris.com