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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 and Losing in Old and New Democracies

Winning and Losing in Old and New Democracies

(p.90) 6 Winning and Losing in Old and New Democracies
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

Examines the dimensions of losers’ consent in old and new democracies. We expect that losing has stronger negative effects in new democracies relative to mature democracies since losers have not yet learned to lose in countries where democratic governance is of recent vintage. The results show that, with few exceptions, political losers have lower support levels than winners across all dimensions of political support, including beliefs in core principles of democracy. Moreover, we find that the winner–loser gap is more prominent in newly democratized and democratizing states. The data also indicate that the supporters of the old communist parties exhibit significantly lower levels of support for the democratic system than voters for other parties, and in particular, if they are not in power.

Keywords:   communist parties, democratic transitions, Eastern Europe, election outcomes, elections, learning, legitimacy, losers, new democracies, satisfaction with democracy, system support, winners

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