Support for democracy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

3 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

With the worldwide wave of democratization, scholars interested in the preservation of the new democracies dusted off old theories of regime maintenance. While commonly sharing the assumption that democracy requires democrats, researchers proceeded in different directions, depending on their image of the ideal democrat. Today, we know a great deal about who supports democracy, and why. However, the state of our knowledge is incomplete at the point where it matters the most. As might be expected in any emerging area of research, different sets of scholars based their research instruments on contrasting understandings of what it means to be a democrat, and how democrats are best identified and measured. More importantly, they proceeded from differing understandings and underspecified theories as to why democrats are important, how many are needed, and how they actually affect the level and stability of democracy. Thus, while the intuition that democracy requires democrats is strong, the actual state of the evidence is still mixed, at best.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia in Politics
EditorsWilliam Thompson
Place of Publication[New York]
PublisherOxford University Press
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameOxford Research Encyclopaedias
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords

  • democracy
  • public support

Profiles

Projects

Afrobarometer

Mattes, R., Gyimah-Boadi, E., Bratton, M., Logan, C., Dulani, B. & Mitullah, W.

14/09/98 → …

Project: Research

Cite this

Mattes, R. (2018). Support for democracy. In W. Thompson (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia in Politics (Oxford Research Encyclopaedias). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.622