City Research Online

Democratic Support and Globalization

Thomas, K. (2016). Democratic Support and Globalization. In: Vowles, J. & Xezonakis, G. (Eds.), Globalization and Domestic Politics: Parties, Elections, and Public Opinion. (pp. 209-234). UK: Oxford Univeristy Press.


This chapter explores the impact of globalization on satisfaction with democracy in a comparative perspective. It explicitly tests whether globalization fosters or constrains support for democracy and if its potential negative effects vanish once countries compensate for the potential negative effects of globalization. The analyses rely on survey data collected by the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems to indicate citizens’ support for democracy. Globalization is captured by the KOF Index of Globalization. Not only does the KOF index allow testing for the general impact of globalization on democratic support, it also enables a distinction between the economic, social and political components of globalization. It thus provides a test of the global drivers of democratic support. Multilevel logistic regressions analyze the data. The results indicate that globalization has a throughout positive impact on citizens’ satisfaction with democracy. However, the results also reveal group differences in satisfaction with democracy across income and education groups. Citizens with a lower household income and those who are less-well educated seem to be significantly less satisfied with democracy as globalization increases in comparison to their high income and well-educated counterparts. Yet, these differences are not large enough to confidently conclude that this supports constraint theory.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: pp. 209-234, Democratic Support and Globalization by Thomas, K. (2016), reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press
Subjects: J Political Science
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
[thumbnail of Demsat_Globalization_KT23022015.pdf]
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