Pedro Magalhães - CMIST/Democracy and Elections seminar
|Starts:||16:00 26 Jan 2016|
|Ends:||17:30 26 Jan 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research|
|Speaker:||Dr Pedro Magalhães|
Positive economic outcomes increase political support. That much we know on the basis of research on government approval, economic voting, or satisfaction with democracy. In fact, we know from many studies in social and organisational psychology that satisfaction with authorities in all sorts of organisations is driven by the favourability of outcomes.
However, those same studies have also found that outcomes are not the only thing that matters. Process, particularly the level of fairness in procedures, also matters. And it matters not only directly — with support and satisfaction increasing the fairer the procedures — but also indirectly, by moderating the effect of outcomes.
In other words, the greater the level of procedural fairness then the less important outcome favourability should be in determining political support, a phenomenon that social psychologists explain on the basis of referent cognitions, fairness, and relational theories. If these findings travel from the meso-level of organisations to the macro-level of political regimes and institutions the we would expect the effect of economic outcomes on political support to become smaller as perceived fairness in procedures increases.
In this paper we present what is to our knowledge the first empirical examination of this phenomenon by examining satisfaction with the way democracies works in Europe. Using the European Social Survey, we find that both individual perceptions and expert judgments of procedural fairness at the regime level moderate the effects of economic outcomes on satisfaction with democracy. Our findings provide further support for the integration of social psychology perspectives into political science studies of support of and satisfaction with authorities.
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