Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies

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Most democratic citizens today are distrustful of politicians, political parties, and political institutions. Where once democracies expected an allegiant public, citizens now question the very pillars of representative democracy. Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices documents the erosion of political support in virtually all advanced industrial democracies. Assembling an unprecedented array of cross-national public opinion data, this study traces the current challenges to democracy primary to changing ...
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Overview


Most democratic citizens today are distrustful of politicians, political parties, and political institutions. Where once democracies expected an allegiant public, citizens now question the very pillars of representative democracy. Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices documents the erosion of political support in virtually all advanced industrial democracies. Assembling an unprecedented array of cross-national public opinion data, this study traces the current challenges to democracy primary to changing citizen values and rising expectations. These critical citizens are concentrated among the young, the better educated, and the politically sophisticated. At the same time, the evidence debunks claims that such trends are a function of scandals, poor performance, and other government failures. Changing public are born from the successful social modernization of these nations. A creedal passion for democracy is sweeping across the Western democracies, and people now expect more of their governments. This study concludes by examining the consequences of these changing images of government. The author finds that these expectations are making governing more difficult, but also fueling demands for political reform. The choices that democracies make in response to these challenges may lead to a further expansion of the democratic process and a new relationship between citizens and their government
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this impressive book, Dalton (Univ. of California, Irvine) presents a sophisticate and thorough comparative analysis of the erosion of political support in the long-term OECD democracies.... Highly Recommended."--Choice

"... provides the first full-fledged cross-national treatment of trust in institutions in this ambitious volume.... a very important book. It will become a landmark in the study of political support."--Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199268436
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Comparative Politics Series
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

University of California, Irvine
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1 The Challenge to Democracy 1
2 Changing Citizen Orientations 21
3 The Correlates of Political Support 57
4 Social Change and the Accumulation of Incremental Effects 80
5 Value Change and Political Support 97
6 Economic Performance and Political Support 111
7 Policy Preferences and Political Support 128
8 The Consequences of Political Support 157
9 Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices 191
References 209
Index 227
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