This book analyses a series of
interrelated questions. The first are diagnostic: how far are
there legitimate grounds for concern about public support for
democracy worldwide? Are trends towards growing cynicism evident
in the United States evident in many established and newer
democracies? The second concern is analytical: what are the main
political, economic and cultural factors driving the dynamics of
support for democratic government? The last are prescriptive:
what are the consequences of this analysis and what are the
implications for strengthening democratic governance?
A distinguished group of international scholars develop a global
analysis of these issues analysing trends in established and
newer democracies at the end of the 20th century. The book
presents the first results of the 1995-7 World Values Study as
well as drawing on an extensive range of comparative empirical
Challenging the conventional wisdom, this book concludes that
accounts of a democratic 'crisis' are greatly exaggerated. By
the mid-1990s, most citizens worldwide shared widespread
aspirations to the ideals and principles of democratic
government. At the same time there remains a marked gap between
evaluations of the ideal and the practice of democracy. The
public in many newer democracies in Central and Eastern Europe
and in Latin America proved deeply critical of the performance
of their governing regimes. And in many established democracies
the 1980s saw a decline in public confidence in the core
institutions of representative democracy including parliaments,
the legal system and political parties. The study considers the
causes and consequences of the development of critical citizens.
This book will prove invaluable for those interested in
comparative politics, public opinion, and the dynamics of the
is a landmark comparative study of trends in attitudes toward
nation, government regime, political institutions, and leaders,
in some forty regionally well-distributed countries, bringing
together the research of a cross-national team of social
scientists, led by Pippa Norris of the Harvard Kennedy School.
It is full of theoretically interesting insights, as well as
findings that have an important bearing on public policy."--
Gabriel Almond, Stanford University
"The great democratic paradox of the 1990s is that it has
simultaneously been the decade of democratisation and the decade
of growing distrust of democratic institutions. This volume
admirably dissects the complex and multidimensional background
of these conflicting trends, and presents a judicious evaluation
of the grounds for optimism and pessimism - in which,
fortunately, the former prevails!"
Arend Lijphart, Research Professor of
Political Science, University of California, San Diego.
"Critical Citizens is the most comprehensive collection of
comparative work on confidence in government and sources of
public support for democracy. I strongly recommend it." Seymour
Martin Lipset, George Mason University.
by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
List of Figures and Tables
List of Contributors
1. Introduction: The Growth of Critical Citizens?
Section I: Cross-national Trends in Confidence in Governance
2. Mapping Political Support in the 1990s: A Global Analysis
3. Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Russell J. Dalton
4. Five Years after the Fall: Trajectories of Support for
Democracy in Post-Communist Europe
William Mishler and Richard Rose
Section II: Testing Theories with Case-Studies
5. Down and Down we Go: Political Trust in Sweden
6. Support for Democracy in Germany: East and West
7. Tensions between the Democratic Ideal and Reality: South
Richard Rose, Doh C. Shin and Neil Munro
Section III: Explanations of Trends
8. The Impact of Social Trust on Political Support
9. The Economic Performance of Governments
10.Political Performance and Institutional Confidence
Arthur Miller and Ola Listhaug
11.Political Institutions and Political Support
12.Postmodernization, Authority and Democracy
13.Conclusions: The Growth of Critical Citizens and its
Bibliography and Index
Copyright 2004 Pippa Norris, John F.
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138.