WP45: Democrats with adjectives: Linking direct and indirect measures of democratic support

Introduction

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Working papers
2005
45
Schedler, Andreas and Rodolfo Sarsfield

Over the past three decades, the worldwide spread of democratic regimes has reinvigorated scholarly interest in mass support for democracy. According to broad strands of literature, a popular “commitment to democratic values, and support for a democratic system, are necessary conditions for the consolidation” of democratic governance (Fuchs 1999: 127).  In principle, under appropriate qualifications (which would specify what types and levels of popular support affect chances of regime survival to what extent and under which conditions) we may accept the causal relevance of citizen attitudes towards democracy.  The purpose of the present paper, though, is not to evaluate causal claims, but to address a logically prior problem: the problem of measuring mass support for democracy.