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How citizens evaluate democracy: an assessment using the European Social Survey

  • Mario Quaranta (a1)

How do citizens evaluate democracy? Previous literature trying to address this question has often relied on single indicators to assess citizens’ assessment of democracy. This article contributes to this debate by using multiple indicators measuring different attributes to find a summary measure of citizens’ evaluations of democracy. Using the special module of the sixth round of the European Social Survey ‘Europeans’ understandings and evaluations of democracy’ and applying Bayesian factor analysis with country random effects, this article tests whether multiple indicators form an underlying trait measuring citizens’ evaluations of democracy. It finds the scores of this measure at the individual and country levels and validates this measure against other measures built at the system level, including the ‘satisfaction with democracy’ indicator, also illustrating its functioning as a dependent and an independent variable.

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European Political Science Review
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