Policy Performance and Satisfaction with Democracy

Authors

  • Eva Heiða Önnudóttir
  • Ólafur Þ. Harðarson

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2011.7.2.11

Keywords:

Satisfaction with democracy, policy performance, representation, financial and political crisis.

Abstract

In this paper we examine how subjective perception of government’s policy performance affects satisfaction with how democracy works in Iceland. This we base on the argument that the public is aware of and evaluating the governments’ performance when the political system is faced with a major crisis that has been extensively publicly debated and triggered widespread protests. The financial and political crisis in Iceland 2008-09 provides an opportunity to examine if government performance can be seen as a causal factor explaining satisfaction with the democratic process. We take into account two alternative explanations; that satisfaction with how democracy works depends on citizens’ belief in how well the representative system works; and if they are more satisfied when their party is represented in government. Our principal conclusion is that subjective policy performance is the main explanation for citizens’ increased dissatisfaction with democracy during a severe crisis.

Author Biographies

Eva Heiða Önnudóttir

Doctoral student in political science, Mannheim University.

Ólafur Þ. Harðarson

Ph.D, professor of political science and Dean ofthe School of Social Sciences, University ofIceland.

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Published

2011-12-15

How to Cite

Önnudóttir, E. H., & Harðarson, Ólafur Þ. (2011). Policy Performance and Satisfaction with Democracy . Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 7(2), 417–436. https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2011.7.2.11

Issue

Section

Peer Reviewed Articles

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