Conditional Satisfaction: Political Support, Congruence, and the (Un)certainty of Political Marginalization

with Troy Saghaug Broderstad 

Revise and resubmit

In this paper we examine the conditional relationship between citizen satisfaction with the functioning of democracy and ideological congruence. Specifically, we focus on how levels of uncertainty regarding political marginalization vary by government type, paying particular attention to the conditioning effects of individual-level political sophistication and coalition governments’ ideological make-up. We test this argument using an original data set of harmonized survey data covering one million respondents in 28 countries over a 40-year period. We find limited evidence that the relationship between citizen satisfaction and ideological congruence is conditional on national government type, at least for the average survey respondent. Our analyses provide clear evidence, however, that government type and political sophistication interact to shape how citizens evaluate the functioning of democracy. Our study also reveals compelling evidence that the ideological composition of coalition governments conditions the relationship between citizen satisfaction and congruence, but again only among higher-educated citizens.

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with Candelaria Garay

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with Cecilia Nicolini