Power Sharing and Political Dissatisfaction: A Multilevel Analysis of the Link Between Power-Sharing Institutions and Kinds of Political Dissatisfaction in 24 European Democracies

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Abstract

Institutional engineering offers a solution to the increasing political dissatisfaction in several representative democracies, since studies suggest that introducing elements of institutional power sharing may decrease negative attitudes. However, it may be important to distinguish different mixes of political attitudes since these can have different implications for the functioning of democracy. This article therefore examines the link between horizontal and vertical institutional power sharing and four citizen profiles differing on the extent of political support and subjective political empowerment. The data come from the fourth round of the European Social Survey [ESS (2008) European Social Survey Round 4 Data. Data File Edition 4 (Norway: Norwegian Social Science Data Services)] and comprise 39,376 respondents from 24 democracies. The links between institutional power sharing and kinds of political dissatisfaction are examined with multinomial logistic regression analysis to examine the connections between horizontal and vertical power sharing and different attitudinal profiles to establish the possibilities for institutional engineering. The results suggest that horizontal power sharing is connected to a higher extent of satisfied citizens, but also certain kinds of dissatisfaction. Furthermore, vertical power sharing is connected to a lower probability of satisfied citizens. The effects of power sharing are therefore more intricate than what has previously been assumed when taking into account the multidimensional nature of political attitudes.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)280–300
JournalEuropean Politics and Society
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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