- The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science
- The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics
- About the Contributors
- Multicausality, Context‐Conditionality, and Endogeneity
- Historical Enquiry and Comparative Politics
- The Case Study: What it is and What it Does
- Field Research
- Is the Science of Comparative Politics Possible?
- From Case Studies to Social Science: A Strategy for Political Research
- Collective Action Theory
- War, Trade, and State Formation
- Compliance, Consent, and Legitimacy
- National Identity
- Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict
- Mass Beliefs and Democratic Institutions
- What Causes Democratization?
- Democracy and Civic Culture
- Dictatorship: Analytical Approaches
- Rethinking Revolutions: a Neo‐Tocquevillian Perspective
- Civil Wars
- Contentious Politics and Social Movements
- Mechanisms of Globalized Protest Movements
- The Emergence of Parties and Party Systems
- Party Systems
- Voters and Parties
- Parties and Voters in Emerging Democracies
- Political Clientelism
- Political Activism: New Challenges, New Opportunities
- Aggregating and Representing Political Preferences
- Electoral Systems
- Separation of Powers
- Comparative Judicial Politics
- Coalition Theory and Government Formation
- Comparative Studies of the Economy and the Vote
- Context‐Conditional Political Budget Cycles
- The Welfare State in Global Perspective
- The Poor Performance of Poor Democracies
- Accountability and the Survival of Governments
- Economic Transformation and Comparative Politics
- Subject Index
- Name Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article summarizes why political culture studies have been hesitant to analyze the aggregate effect of mass beliefs on democracy. It determines that this has much to do with the widespread assumption that the impact of mass beliefs on democracy can be inferred from individual-level findings. It also illustrates that this assumption actually represents an ‘individualistic fallacy’. It considers an argument that the impact of mass beliefs on democracy can only be analyzed at the aggregate level, because democracy only exists at this level. The article ends with a report of the findings from recent studies, which show that mass beliefs have indeed an aggregate effect on the emergence and survival of democracy.
Christian Welzel is Professor of Political Science at the Jacobs University Bremen (JUB) and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Values Surveys Association.
Ronald Inglehart is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and President of the World Values Survey Association.
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