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Losers' Consent Elections and Democratic Legitimacy

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ISBN-10: 0199232008

ISBN-13: 9780199232000

Edition: 2007

Authors: Christopher J. Anderson, Andr� Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan, Ola Listhaug

List price: $51.00
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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, the authors argue that losing generates ambivalent attitudes towards political authorities. Because the efficacy and ultimately the survival of democratic regimes can be seriously threatened if thelosers do not consent to their loss, the central themes of this book focus on losing: how losers respond to 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 oflosers' consent that portrays losers as political actors whose experience and whose incentives to accept defeat 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 is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research.
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Book details

List price: $51.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/29/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Todd Donovan (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside) is a professor of political science at Western Washington University. He teaches state and local politics; American politics, parties, campaigns, and elections; comparative electoral systems; and introductory research methods and statistics. His research interests include direct democracy, election systems and representation, political behavior, subnational politics, and the political economy of local development. He has published extensively in academic journals; written a number of books on direct democracy, elections, institutions, and reform; and has received numerous grants and awards for his work. He is coauthor (with Christopher Z. Mooney and Daniel A. Smith) of STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM (?2009) and coauthor (with Ken Hoover) of THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC THINKING, also published by Cengage Learning.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
Winning Isn't Everything: Losers' Consent and Democratic Legitimacy
The Winner-Loser Gap
Political Legitimacy and the Winner-Loser Gap
The Winner-Loser Gap: Contours and Boundaries
The Dynamics of Losers' Consent: Persistence and Change in the Winner-Loser Gap
Understanding Differences in Losers' Consent
Individual Differences in Losers' consent
Winning and Losing in Old and New Democracies
How Political Institutions Shape Losers' consent
Comparing Losers' Assessments of Electoral Democracy
Losing and Support for Institutional Change
Conclusion: Graceful Losers and the Democratic Bargain