Satisfaction with Democracy in Post-Communist Multi-Ethnic Countries. The Effect of Political Institutions
Title: Satisfaction with Democracy in Post-Communist Multi-Ethnic Countries. The Effect of Political Institutions
Author: RUIZ-RUFINO, Rubén
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2008/24
Why are some ethnic minorities more satisfied with democracy than others in postcommunist countries? This paper explores this question by looking at the impact of political institutions on satisfaction with democracy. Using survey data collected between 1997 and 2000 in seven post-communist countries, I test two different hypotheses for which I find empirical support. First, I examine the relationship between the type of political system and the capacity of the ethnic minority to participate in the decision-making process. Concretely, I show that when a country adopts a parliamentary system and the ethnic minorities have a voice in the legislature, then higher levels of satisfaction with democracy are expected than if the country adopts a presidential system and the minorities do not have a seat. Second, I test the effect of electoral systems in the following sense: more proportional representation electoral systems will generate higher levels of satisfaction since they will increase the expectations of existing ethnic political parties in the decision-making process. Both hypotheses highlight the idea that more inclusive political institutions generate higher levels of satisfaction with democracy.
Subject: Ethnic minorities; Central and Eastern Europe; Satisfaction with democracy; Political Institutions
Type of Access: openAccess