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Permissive Winners? The Quality of Democracy and the Winner–Loser Gap in the Perception of Freedoms

Permissive Winners? The Quality of Democracy and the Winner–Loser Gap in the Perception of Freedoms Voters usually differ in their assessment of the regime’s legitimacy, depending on their status as winners or losers. However, how wide or narrow the winner–loser gap is also depends on the quality of democratic institutions. Using survey data from 18 Latin American countries, this research provides evidence that winners and losers respond differently to the quality of democracy. While most research is concerned with the losers’ consent, this study shows that the winners express more favorable assessments of the supply of freedoms, even in regimes where democracy is weak or undermined by the deliberate efforts of the political authorities. Instead, in their perception of freedoms, losers are more willing to acknowledge if the quality of democracy improves or declines. These results suggest that the potential consequences of the winner–loser gap for regime stability are highly dependent on the democratic attributes of the political context. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Studies SAGE

Permissive Winners? The Quality of Democracy and the Winner–Loser Gap in the Perception of Freedoms

Political Studies , Volume 70 (1): 22 – Feb 1, 2022

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References (66)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2020
ISSN
0032-3187
eISSN
2041-0611
DOI
10.1177/0032321720952230
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Voters usually differ in their assessment of the regime’s legitimacy, depending on their status as winners or losers. However, how wide or narrow the winner–loser gap is also depends on the quality of democratic institutions. Using survey data from 18 Latin American countries, this research provides evidence that winners and losers respond differently to the quality of democracy. While most research is concerned with the losers’ consent, this study shows that the winners express more favorable assessments of the supply of freedoms, even in regimes where democracy is weak or undermined by the deliberate efforts of the political authorities. Instead, in their perception of freedoms, losers are more willing to acknowledge if the quality of democracy improves or declines. These results suggest that the potential consequences of the winner–loser gap for regime stability are highly dependent on the democratic attributes of the political context.

Journal

Political StudiesSAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2022

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