Satisfaction with Democracy article accepted at Canadian Journal of Political Science

“Satisfaction with Democracy: The Impact of Institutions, Contexts, and Attitudes”, an article co-authored with Fred Cutler (UBC) and Andrea Nuesser (Hydro One), has been accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Political Science. The new citation and abstract are appended below. I’ll update this post with a link to the full article when the time comes, but for now if anyone needs a prepublication version, drop me an email.

Fred Cutler, Andrea Nuesser and Benjamin Nyblade, “Satisfaction with Democracy: The Impact of Institutions, Contexts, and Attitudes.” Forthcoming, Canadian Journal of Political Science.

In this paper we examine existing research on citizens’ Satisfaction with Democracy (SWD) and offer a new direction for research. We propose an encompassing theoretical model of institutional and individual-level determinants of citizens’ satisfaction with democracy and then estimate that model with cross-national survey and macro data. We begin with a well-specified individual-level model of SWD distinct from a model of the effects of institutions on the individual-level determinants.  Then we elaborate an empirical theory of SWD that specifies the relationship from contextual factors (especially institutions) through the individual-level mediators, to the outcome – Satisfaction with Democracy. We then employ multilevel structural equation (mediation) estimation (Preacher et al., 2010) to estimate our model on a merged dataset of European Social Survey and country-level contextual data.  The results provide a more solid theoretical and empirical grounding for findings that citizens’ judgments of democracy are based mostly in outputs and lived experience, not in institutional variation or its political consequences.