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Losers' ConsentElections and Democratic Legitimacy$
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Christopher J. Anderson, André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan, and Ola Listhaug

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199276382.001.0001

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Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy

Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy

(p.1) 1 Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy
Losers' Consent

Christopher J. Anderson (Contributor Webpage)

André Blais (Contributor Webpage)

Shaun Bowler (Contributor Webpage)

Todd Donovan (Contributor Webpage)

Ola Listhaug (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Provides an overview of the argument. Describes how elections produce unequal outcomes—for some to win, others have to lose. Also highlights the importance of losers’ consent for understanding political legitimacy. Losers’ consent is critical for democratic systems to function because losers are numerous; in part, it is important because of the incentives that losing creates. Also describes examples of graceful and sore losers in various countries around the world. Concludes by providing an alternative view of elections as institutional mechanisms that can enhance or diminish the legitimacy of political systems.

Keywords:   Al Gore, consent, democracy, election outcomes, elections, legitimacy, losers, political behaviour, voting, winners

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