Democratic Deficit: Critical Citizens Revisited

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-21
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Many fear that democracies are suffering from a legitimacy crisis. This book focuses on "democratic deficits," reflecting how far the perceived democratic performance of any state diverges from public expectations. Pippa Norris examines the symptoms by comparing system support in more than fifty societies worldwide, challenging the pervasive claim that most established democracies have experienced a steadily rising tide of political disaffection during the third-wave era. The book diagnoses the reasons behind the democratic deficit, including demand (rising public aspirations for democracy), information (negative news about government), and supply (the performance and structure of democratic regimes). Finally, Norris examines the consequences for active citizenship, for governance, and ultimately, for democratization. This book provides fresh insights into major issues at the heart of comparative politics, public opinion, political culture, political behavior, democratic governance, political psychology, political communications, public policymaking, comparative sociology, cross-national survey analysis, and the dynamics of the democratization process.

Author Biography

Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. ix
List of Figuresp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Democratic Hopes and Fearsp. 3
The Conceptual Frameworkp. 19
Evidence and Methodsp. 38
Trends in the United States and Western Europep. 57
Comparing Political Support around the Worldp. 83
Trends in Democratic Deficitsp. 102
Rising Aspirations?p. 119
Democratic Knowledgep. 142
Negative Newsp. 169
Failing Performance?p. 188
The Consequences for Citizenship, Governance, and Democratizationp. 219
Conclusions and Implicationsp. 236
Concepts and Measuresp. 247
Countries in the Pooled World Values Survey, 1981-2007p. 251
Methodsp. 254
Notesp. 259
Selected Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 327
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