Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Stealth democracy and the support for new and challenger parties

  • Sebastián Lavezzolo (a1) and Luis Ramiro (a2)

Abstract

In the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, new and challenger parties have enjoyed electoral gains in some European countries. Political and economic disaffection have been pointed out as the main drivers of their electoral support. This article proposes voter’s stealth democracy attitudes, as defined by Hibbing and Theiss-Morse, as an additional driving force to account for this electoral change. We examine the case of Spain with a survey conducted after the far-reaching transformation of the party system, which has led to the emergence of two new parties: Ciudadanos (on the center-right) and Podemos (on the radical-left). We find that stealth democracy attitudes are positively related to the support for the former and negatively related to the support for the latter. Additionally, we provide evidence of this relationship being conditional on voters’ ideology. The study illustrates how an unexplored attitudinal dimension contributes to party system change, and how the relevance of these attitudes might go beyond the temporary political discontent caused by the economic crisis.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Stealth democracy and the support for new and challenger parties
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Stealth democracy and the support for new and challenger parties
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Stealth democracy and the support for new and challenger parties
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Allen, N. and Birch, S. (2014), ‘Process preferences and British public opinion: citizens’ judgments about government in an era of anti-politics’, Political Studies 63: 390411.
Anderson, C. and Goodyear-Grant, E. (2010), ‘Why are highly informed citizens skeptical of referenda?’, Electoral Studies 29(2): 227238.
Barber, B. (1984), Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Bartels, L. (2014), ‘Ideology and retrospection in electoral responses to the great recession’, in N. Bermeo and L. Bartels (eds), Mass Politics in Tough Times, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 185223.
Bengtsson, A. and Mattila, M. (2009), ‘Direct democracy and its critics: support for direct democracy and stealth democracy in Finland’, West European Politics 32(5): 10311048.
Bergh, J. (2004), ‘Protest voting in Austria, Denmark and Norway’, Scandinavian Political Studies 27(4): 367389.
Bertsou, E. and Pastorella, G. (2017), ‘Technocratic attitudes: a citizens’ perspective of expert decision-making’, West European Politics, 40(2): 430458.
Bordignon, F. and Ceccarini, L. (2013), ‘Five stars and a cricket. Beppe Grillo shakes Italian politics’, South European Society and Politics 18(4): 427449.
Bowler, S., Donovan, T. and Karp, J.A. (2007), ‘Enraged or engaged? Preferences for direct citizen participation in affluent democracies’, Political Research Quarterly 60(3): 351362.
Cain, B., Dalton, R. and Scarrow, S. (eds), (2004), Democracy Transformed? Expanding Political Opportunities in Advanced Industrial Democracies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cordero, G. and Montero, J.R. (2015), ‘Against bipartyism, towards dealignment? The 2014 European election in Spain’, South European Society and Politics 20(3): 357379.
Ciudadanos (2015), ‘Programa electoral’. Retrieved 18 April 2016 from https://www.ciudadanos-cs.org/programa-electoral.
Coffé, H. and Michels, A. (2014), ‘Education and support for representative, direct and stealth democracy’, Electoral Studies 35: 111.
Dalton, R. (2004), Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices. The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Democracies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dalton, R., Bürklin, W. and Drumm, A. (2001), ‘Public opinion and direct democracy’, Journal of Democracy 12(4): 141153.
Dennis, J. and Owen, D. (2001), ‘Popular satisfaction with the party system and representative democracy in the United States’, International Political Science Review 22(4): 399415.
Donovan, T. and Karp, J. (2006), ‘Popular support for direct democracy’, Party Politics 12(5): 671688.
Evans, M., Stoker, G. and Nasir, J. (2013), How Do Australians Imagine Their Democracy, Canberra: Anzsog, Institute for Governance at the University of Canberra.
Font, J., Wojcieszak, M. and Navarro, C. (2015), ‘Participation, representation and expertise: citizen preferences for decision-making processes’, Political Studies 63(1): 153172.
Font, J., Navarro, C., Wojscieszak, M. and Alarcón, P. (2012), «Democracia sigilosa» en España? Preferencias de la ciudadanía española sobre las formas de decisión política y sus factores explicativos, Madrid: CIS.
Hibbing, J.R. and Theiss-Morse, E. (2001), ‘Process preferences and American politics: what the people want government to be’, American Political Science Review 95(1): 145153.
Hibbing, J.R. and Theiss-Morse, E. (2002), Stealth Democracy: Americans’ Beliefs About How Government Should Work, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hino, A. (2012), New Challenger Parties in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis, Abingdon: Routledge.
Hobolt, S. and Tilley, J. (2016), ‘Fleeing the centre: the rise of challenger parties in the aftermath of the euro crisis’, West European Politics 39(5): 971991.
Kriesi, H. (2014), ‘The political consequences of the economic crisis in Europe: electoral punishment and popular protest’, in N. Bermeo and L. Bartels (eds) Mass Politics in Tough Times, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 297333.
Kriesi, H. and Pappas, T. (eds) (2015), European Populism in the Shadows of the Great Recession, Colchester: ECPR Press.
Llamazares, I. and Gómez-Reino, M. (2015), ‘Left populism in Spain? The rise of Podemos’. 22nd Congress for European Studies, July 8–10, Paris.
Magalhães, P. (2014), ‘Introduction – financial crisis, austerity and electoral politics’, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 24(2): 125133.
Mair, P. (2013), Ruling the Void. The Hollowing of Western Democracy, London: Verso.
Michels, A. (2011), ‘Innovations in democratic governance. How does citizen participation contribute to a better democracy?’, International Review of Administrative Sciences 77(2): 275293.
Montero, J.R., Gunther, R. and Torcal, M. (1997), ‘Democracy in Spain: legitimacy, discontent and disaffection’, Studies in Comparative International Development 32(3): 124160.
Neblo, M., Esterling, K., Kennedy, R., Lazer, D. and Sokhey, A. (2010), ‘Who wants to deliberate – and why?’, American Political Science Review 104(3): 566583.
Norris, P. (1999), Democratic Deficit. Critical Citizens Revisited, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Orriols, L. and Rico, G. (2014), ‘El clima de opinión’, in Eva Anduiza , et al. (eds), Elecciones generales 2011, Vol. 5 Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, pp. 6382.
Orriols, L. and Cordero, G. (2016), ‘The breakdown of the Spanish two-party system: the upsurge of Podemos and Ciudadanos in the 2015 general election’. South European Society and Politics 21(4): 469492.
Passarelli, G. and Tuorto, D. (2016), ‘The Five Star Movement: purely a matter of protest? The rise of a new party between political discontent and reasoned voting’, Party Politics https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068816642809.
Pastorella, G. (2016), ‘Technocratic governments in Europe: getting the critique right’, Political Studies 64(4): 948965.
Pateman, C. (1970), Participation and Democratic Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pauwels, T. (2014), Populism in Western Europe. Comparing Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, London: Routledge.
Podemos (2015), ‘Programa. Democracia Política’. Retrieved 18 April 2016 from http://unpaiscontigo.es/programa/.
Ramiro, L. and Gomez, R. (2017), ‘Radical left populism during the Great Recession: Podemos and its competition with the established radical left’, Political Studies 65(IS): 108126.
Rodon, T. and Hierro, M.J. (2016), ‘Podemos and Ciudadanos shake up the Spanish party system: the 2015 local and regional elections’, South European Society and Politics 21(3): 339357.
Rodrígez-Teruel, J. and Barrio, A. (2016), ‘Going national: Ciudadanos from Catalonia to Spain’, South European Society and Politics 21(4): 587607.
Smith, G. (2009), Democratic Innovations. Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Torcal, M. (2014a), ‘The decline of political trust in Spain and Portugal: economic performance or political responsiveness?’, American Behavioural Scientist 58(12): 15421567.
Torcal, M. (2014b), ‘The incumbent electoral defeat in the 2011 Spanish national elections: the effect of the economic crisis on an ideological polarized party system’, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 24(2): 203221.
Webb, P. (2013), ‘Who is willing to participate? Dissatisfied democrats, stealth democrats and populists in the United Kingdom’, European Journal of Political Research 52: 747772.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Lavezzolo and Ramiro supplementary material
Online Appendix

 Word (66 KB)
66 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed