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The Quality of Government Determinants of Support for Democracy

Journal article
Authors Frida Boräng
Marina Nistotskaya
Georgios Xezonakis
Published in Journal of Public Affairs
Volume 17
Issue 1-2
ISSN 1472-3891
Publication year 2017
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords quality of government, democracy, multilevel analysis
Subject categories Political Science


This paper argues that in addition to “what democracies do,” “how democracies do it” produces an independent source of support for democracy. We argue that a high procedural quality of bureaucracy may promote support for democracy by diminishing the likelihood of the occurrence of cognitive dissonance between democracy as an ideal and the experienced. Furthermore, we expect the beneficial impact of a higher quality of government (QoG) to be more visible in younger democracies. We subject this claim to a multilevel empirical analysis with large n and N and across a considerable time span. The analysis reveals that higher QoG is linked with higher levels of diffuse support, and that this effect is stronger in younger democracies. The data are less supportive with respect to the positive impact of QoG on specific support, calling for further research into the matter.

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