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Dissatisfied Citizens: An Asset to or a Liability on the Democratic Functioning of Society?
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4294-2042
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7009-5955
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0185-8805
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 38, no 4, p. 410-436Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Past research has shown that, although a majority of citizens in democracies support the idea of democracy as a form of governance, some tend to be distrustful of democratic institutions and express dissatisfaction with the way democracy works. It is argued in this article that to better understand the role of various groups of dissatisfied citizens in the democratic functioning of a society, one should examine their democratic characteristics. Based on youth's dissatisfaction with the performance of political institutions and the principles of democracy, four distinct groups of citizens are identified. These groups are then compared in terms of their political engagement, knowledge and interest, values and attitudes, and disposition to break the law. The results showed that youths with high levels of principle- and performance-driven dissatisfaction were less likely to participate in politics, less knowledgeable and interested in political issues, and more likely to break the law, even if people got hurt compared with other groups. In contrast, youths who were only dissatisfied with the performance of democratic institutions were more likely to participate in politics, and had higher tolerance towards immigrants, and political interest and knowledge. They were also more likely, peacefully and without harming other people, to break the law to change society. Overall, by examining distinct groups of dissatisfied citizens and their democratic characteristics, this study contributes to the general debate on the role of dissatisfied citizens in democracies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2015. Vol. 38, no 4, p. 410-436
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-32301DOI: 10.1111/1467-9477.12051ISI: 000364650000006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84946490843OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-32301DiVA, id: diva2:1415225
Note

Funding Agencies:

Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation

Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2020-03-17 Last updated: 2020-03-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Transcending dichotomies: The many faces of youth dissatisfaction in democracy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transcending dichotomies: The many faces of youth dissatisfaction in democracy
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the recent scholarly debates over changing citizenship attitudes and norms in advanced democracies, especially when it comes to rising levels of political dissatisfaction, opinion about the political role of young people is divided. For some scholars, they represent a driving force behind the development of new kinds of citizenship values, and constitute an asset to the functioning of political systems. For others, they pose a potential threat to the health of representative democracy, because of their increasing levels of dissatisfaction and civic disengagement. By contrast with these two competing approaches, this dissertation advances the argument that a more balanced view of young people’s political activities is called for. Adopting a quantitative approach, it aims therefore to contribute to better theoretical and empirical understanding of young people’s political dissatisfaction, and to explain their role in a democratic society. Considering different aspects of dissatisfaction, the current dissertation contributes to previous research in significant ways. Among others things, it adds to our knowledge by showing empirically that, in terms of political dissatisfaction, young people constitute a heterogeneous group, with different political roles and profiles, ranging from the healthy to the more threatening. Moreover, it contributes to previous research by highlighting the crucial role played by fair teachers in providing linkages between young citizens and the wider political system. All in all, the findings in the current dissertation have implications for the ongoing debate over the role and significance of young people in the functioning of democratic systems, and also for political socialization research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 98
Keywords
political dissatisfaction, adolescents, critical citizens, procedural fairness, political attitudes
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-32309 (URN)978-91-7529-022-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-05, Prismahuset, Hörsal 2, Örebro universitet, 10:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2020-03-17 Created: 2020-03-17 Last updated: 2020-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Abdelzadeh, AliÖzdemir, MetinVan Zalk, Maarten

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