To know it is to Love it? Satisfaction with Democracy in the European Union

J.A. Karp, S.A. Banducci, Shaun Bowler

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    Recent reforms have been designed to enhance the power of the European Parliament to counter criticisms of a "democratic deficit" in the European Union (EU). We examine how citizens now view these institutions and whether such evaluations influence their satisfaction with the way democracy works in the EU. Previous research has maintained that evaluations of the quality of democracy are difficult to assess because opinions about the EU largely reflect opinions about national institutions. Our results indicate that this is not necessarily the case, particularly among those who are politically aware. Those with high levels of political knowledge rely more heavily on evaluations of EU institutions when assessing democracy in the EU. We also find evidence that evaluations of democratic performance in the EU are motivated by the economic benefits and costs associated with membership. The implications for the democratic deficit and the satisfaction with democracy measure are discussed.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)271-292
    JournalComparative political studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • public support
    • METIS-214492
    • IR-60159
    • political knowledge
    • Democratic deficit
    • Satisfaction with democracy
    • European Union

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