Citizens and the State
It is generally believed that the relationship between citizens and the state in West European democracies has undergone a fundamental change in the last decades. Many observers regard this change as a challenge to representative democracy. This book addresses the problem from the citizen's perspective. Singling out the ten fundamental components of the view that representative democracy is under threat, the book goes on to test them empirically by drawing on the extraordinary data set supplied by the Beliefs in Government research project. The results are startling. They refute the idea that citizens in West European societies have withdrawn support from their democracies. But they show exactly how the relationship between citizen and state has really changed in recent years. Traditional forms of political expression have clearly declined but others have evolved in their place. Citizens have become more critical towards politicians and political parties and they are willing to use non-institutionalized forms of political action to pursue their goals and interests.
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