Losers Consent: Elections and Democratic Legitimacy

Paperback | October 25, 2007

byChristopher J. Anderson, Andre Blais, Shaun Bowler

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Democratic elections are designed to create unequal outcomes: for some to win, others have to lose. This book examines the consequences of this inequality for the legitimacy of democratic political institutions and systems. Using survey data collected in democracies around the globe, theauthors argue that losing generates ambivalent attitudes towards political authorities. Because the efficacy and ultimately the survival of democratic regimes can be seriously threatened if the losers do not consent to their loss, the central themes of this book focus on losing: how losers respondto their loss and how institutions shape losing. While there tends to be a gap in support for the political system between winners and losers, it is not ubiquitous. The book paints a picture of losers' consent that portrays losers as political actors whose experience and whose incentives to acceptdefeat are shaped both by who they are as individuals as well as the political environment in which loss is given meaning. Given that the winner-loser gap in legitimacy is a persistent feature of democratic politics, the findings presented in this book contain crucial implications for our understanding of the functioning and stability of democracies. Comparative Politics is a series for students and teachers of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. The General Editors are Professor Alfio Mastropaolo, University of Turin and Kenneth Newton, University of Southampton and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin . The series ispublished in association with the European Consortium for Political Research.

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Democratic elections are designed to create unequal outcomes: for some to win, others have to lose. This book examines the consequences of this inequality for the legitimacy of democratic political institutions and systems. Using survey data collected in democracies around the globe, theauthors argue that losing generates ambivalent at...

Christopher J. Anderson is Professor of Government at Cornell University. Andre Blais is Professor of Political Science at the Unversity of Montreal. Shaun Bowler is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. Todd Donovan is Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. Ola Listhaug i...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.56 inPublished:October 25, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199232008

ISBN - 13:9780199232000

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Winning isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic LegitimacyPart 1: The Winner-Loser Gap2. Political Legitimacy and the Winner-Loser Gap3. The Winner-Loser Gap: Contours and Boundaries4. The Dynamics of Losers' Consent: Persistance and Change in the Winner-Loser GapPart 2: Understanding Differences in Losers' Consent5. Individual Differences in Losers' Consent6. Winning and Losing in Old and New Democracies7. How Political Institutions Shape Losers' Consent8. Comparing Losers' Assessments of Electoral Democracy9. Losing and Support for Institutional Change10. Conclusion: Graceful Losers and the Democratic BargainAppendixReferences