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 Nordic Party Members: Linkages in Troubled Times, Edited by Marie Demker, Knut Heidar, and Karina Kosiara-Pedersen

Is Democracy Deconsolidating?

Roberto Foa
University of Melbourne
Roberto Foa
University of Melbourne
Yascha Mounk
Harvard University

The citizens of wealthy, established democracies are less satisfied with their governments than they have been at any time since opinion polling began. Most scholars have interpreted this as a sign of dissatisfaction with particular governments, rather than with the political system as a whole. Drawing on recent public opinion data, we suggest that this optimistic interpretation is no longer plausible. Across a wide sample of countries, citizens of democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to non-democratic alternatives. In this paper we suggest that a serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens further, it may begin to challenge the stability of even seemingly consolidated democracies.
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