English title: Perceptions of procedural fairness and satisfaction with democracy in the Nordic welfare states

Author(s): Gissur Ó. Erlingsson - Jonas Linde - Richard Öhrvall -

Language: English

Type: Report, working paper

Year: 2012


The Nordic countries are known for their well-functioning public administrations. In indices measuring control of corruption and the quality of the rule of law, these countries frequently occupy top positions. This article seeks to nuance this picture, and demonstrates that a country’s top position in comparative indices does not necessarily mean that citizens view the state of affairs in the same way as depicted in expert surveys and aggregate indices of the quality of government. Drawing on theories of procedural fairness, we argue that widespread public perceptions about the unfairness of civil servants may have a negative effect on the legitimacy of the political system, even in these ‘least corrupt’ settings. Statistical analyses of individual level survey data from the European Social Survey reveals that even in advanced welfare democracies, public perceptions of procedural fairness have a significant effect on system support.

Edition: 0

Institution: Institute, Department Of Political Science, University of Gothenburg

Number of pages: 25

Number: 19

Series: QoG Working Paper Series

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