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People haven't had enough of experts: technocratic attitudes among citizens in nine european democracies


Bertsou, Eri; Caramani, Daniele (2022). People haven't had enough of experts: technocratic attitudes among citizens in nine european democracies. American Journal of Political Science, 66(1):5-23.

Abstract

Political representation theory postulates that technocracy and populism mount a twofold challenge to party democracy, while also standing at odds with each other in the vision of representation they advocate. Can these relationships be observed empirically at the level of citizen preferences, and what does this mean for alternative forms of representation? The article investigates technocratic attitudes among citizens following three dimensions—expertise, elitism, and anti-politics—and, using latent class analysis, identifies citizen groups that follow a technocratic, populist, and party-democratic profile in nine European democracies. Results show that technocratic attitudes are pervasive and can be meaningfully distinguished from populist attitudes, though important overlaps remain. We investigate differences in demographics and political attitudes among citizen profiles that are relevant to political behavior and conclude by highlighting the role that citizens’ increasing demands for expertise play in driving preferences for alternative types of governance.

Abstract

Political representation theory postulates that technocracy and populism mount a twofold challenge to party democracy, while also standing at odds with each other in the vision of representation they advocate. Can these relationships be observed empirically at the level of citizen preferences, and what does this mean for alternative forms of representation? The article investigates technocratic attitudes among citizens following three dimensions—expertise, elitism, and anti-politics—and, using latent class analysis, identifies citizen groups that follow a technocratic, populist, and party-democratic profile in nine European democracies. Results show that technocratic attitudes are pervasive and can be meaningfully distinguished from populist attitudes, though important overlaps remain. We investigate differences in demographics and political attitudes among citizen profiles that are relevant to political behavior and conclude by highlighting the role that citizens’ increasing demands for expertise play in driving preferences for alternative types of governance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:political science and international relations, sociology and political science
Language:English
Date:1 January 2022
Deposited On:02 Dec 2021 16:19
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 02:58
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0092-5853
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12554