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


Karp, Jeffrey A. and Banducci, Susan A. and Bowler, Shaun (2003) To Know it is to Love it?: Satisfaction with Democracy in the European Union. Comparative Political Studies, 36 (3). pp. 271-292. ISSN 0010-4140

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Abstract: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.
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Copyright:© 2003 Sage
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