English title: A hierarchical generalised Bayesian SEM to assess quality of democracy in Europe
Author(s): Lara Fontanella - Annalina Sarra - Simone Di Zio - Pasquale Valentini -
Type: Journal article
During the last decades, many studies have documented a persistent and wide-spread decline in satisfaction in some established democracies, giving empirical support to the heterogeneity of democratic systems in terms of their quality. The main implication is that if democracies vary in terms of their performance, such variation should be reflected in citizens’ satisfaction and support for democratic institutions and in citizens’ political trust. In this paper, we examine which factors are related to democracy satisfaction and political trust in the European countries, with a particular focus on the role of quality of democracy in shaping these attitudes. To comply with the aim of the study, we formulate a Hierarchical Generalised Bayesian Structural Equation Model (SEM). The proposed model combines the advantages of multilevel-multidimensional IRT models and SEM and accounts for explanatory variables and indicators at country and individual levels. To explain cross-national variations in the variables of interest, we rely on data from the European Social Survey (EES) and from the Democracy Barometer. The results show that trust in political institutions goes along with satisfaction with democracy. In addition, our findings highlight the existence of a spatial heterogeneous gap between citizens’ expectations and evaluations of democracy across ESS countries.
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To page no: 22