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Whom do we trust?: People’s Voting Behaviour and Trust in Western European Countries under the light of the Crisis of Democracy Discourse
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The debate about a possible crisis of democracy has been present over 30 years. Questionable is what researchers mean when talking about a potential crisis. What are the factors that are causing it? Are we in a crisis of democracy in Western European countries?The goal of this thesis is to evaluate how different authors characterize what some call a crisis of democracy, to define core topics and to test one of these on empirical data. This will be achieved by firstly, analyzing pieces of literature related to the scientific crisis of democracy debate. Secondly, using Hirschmann’s theory of exit and voice, mass data from will be categorized and analyzed under the light of participation and trust in political institutions.Issues that return are overload on government, individualism, participation and a new culture versus old structure. Analyzing people’s trust in political institutions depending on their intention to go to national elections shows trends: people lose trust in the institutions government, parliament and political parties. Separating the data into groups of potential voters, non-voters and blank voters shows that the latter two show a greater mistrust in political institutions and less interest in politics.Overall, the debate on a potential crisis of democracy is multifaceted and varies between different authors. People are less active in traditional ways of participating, but that does not mean that Western European democracies stand before collapse. It could however mean that new forms of participation are needed to engage people in politics again.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 78 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14904ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--08/00301--SEOAI: diva2:25533
Available from: 2008-10-03 Created: 2008-09-29 Last updated: 2008-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

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