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SPP 453

Author: Kadri L├╝histe
Description: Do institutional designs influence citizen satisfaction with democratic performance? Analyzing data from twenty two European countries, this study develops and tests a multilevel model of satisfaction with democracy that helps us better understand institutional effects and their interaction with individual level factors. The results clearly confirm that institutional context matters - the between-country differences in satisfaction with democracy depend on electoral system type, whether the country has a federal or unitary system, and whether it is an old or a new democracy. Furthermore, the institutional context has an impact on the effects of the individual-level variables - the type of electoral system mediates the effect of partisan affiliation, while age of democratic institutions mediates the influence of economic evaluations. However, after controlling for the institutional effects, the within-country variance in satisfaction with democracy depends on individual perceptions of government performance, partisan affiliation, and educational background. The results contribute to debates about the implications of particular institutional designs for satisfaction with democracy and suggest that multilevel methods have a potential to make an important contribution to cross-national study of political support.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland