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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the quality of Spanish democracy. Lacking a widely accepted definition of the concept of the quality of democracy, it reviews three types of evidence: the existing comparative measurements, citizens’ own definitions of democracy, and a normative definition of the concept, according to which the quality of democracy is different from democracy itself and consists of two main components: voice and political equality. Using different types of evidence from the national, regional, and local government levels, and from the institutional and civil society sides, the performance and trade-offs between these two components are examined. The effect of participatory institutions and of the Great Recession on the quality of democracy is reviewed. The chapter makes clear that the choice of different definitions of the concept leads to quite diverse assessments of its situation.

Keywords: democracy, quality, participation, political equality, voice

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