Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 December 2019

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.

Keywords: political culture studies, individual-level findings, mass beliefs, democracy, individualistic fallacy, aggregate level

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.