Democratic Satisfaction and Electoral Integrity: Explaining Widening Divides Between Demographic Groups

Andrew Klassen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)

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This article investigates widening divisions between different demographic groups regarding their satisfaction with democracy and perceptions of electoral integrity. It also compares public opinion with expert indices of democratic quality and electoral integrity to show that these indices are unreliable predictors of lower socioeconomic groups. The study includes almost 3.5 million respondents from 157 cross-national surveys covering 150 countries between 1973 and 2015. This public opinion data is analysed against national levels of human development and contrasted with 15 different expert indices. Results show that as human development increases, lower socioeconomic groups are less likely than higher socioeconomic groups to view elections as fair or express satisfaction with how democracy is working. Higher socioeconomic groups also correlate more strongly with expert indices than lower socioeconomic groups, which often show weaker or insignificant correlations. Widening political divisions are important because they often predict civil unrest, but expert indices have difficulty forecasting these trends.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAustralian Political Studies Association 2017 Conference - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 25 Sep 201727 Sep 2017


ConferenceAustralian Political Studies Association 2017 Conference
CityMelbourne, VIC

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