Tuesday Seminar – 6 October

Critical Citizens: the Role of Education on Satisfaction with Democracy across Quality of Democracy. 

Jean-François Daoust (University of Edinburgh)
André Blais (Université de Montréal)

The influential ‘critical citizens’ and ‘postmaterialism’ theories have important implications about how citizens react to democratic governance and their levels of satisfaction with the way democracy works. In this research, we argue that, following conventional wisdom, better educated people should be more critical and dissatisfied with the way democracy works in their country. We believe, however, that taking the context into account and especially the quality of democracy is crucial. We expect the following conditional effect: the effect of education on satisfaction with democracy in a high-quality democracy should be positive, while its impact should be negative in a low-quality democracy. Using CSES datasets (~200 elections in 55 countries from 1996 to 2018), we show that the effect of education is positive (contrary to expectations) in high quality democracies but negative in low quality ones. We discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of the role of education in the process of democratization. 

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 1 October 2020 at 12 h 58 min.