Theory and Measurement of Democratic Attitudes

Course Contents/Slides (Seminar)

April 21Attitudes, values, ideology (print)Feldman (2003); Bartels (2003)
April 28Measuring attitudes (print)Fabrigar, Krosnick and MacDougall (2005); supp.: Krosnick and Presser (2010)
May 5Political Culture (print)Almond and Verba (1965, ch. 1+2)
May 12Political Support, old and new (print)Dalton (1999); Inglehart (1999)
May 19A classic qualitative approach to democratic ideology (print)Lane (1962, 1–16; 82-112)
May 26The original democracy scale and its re-application (print)McClosky (1964, 365–371); Chong, McClosky and Zaller (1983)
June 9Democracy and Communism in Germany (print)Dalton (1994)
June 16From Russia with love (print)Gibson, Duch and Tedin (1992); supp.: Miller, Hesli and Reisinger (1997)
June 30Losing my religion (print)Tessler (2002); Canetti-Nisim (2004)
July 7What flavour of democrats/democracy? I (print)Walker (2009)
July 14What flavour of democrats/democracy? II (print)Schedler and Sarsfield (2007)
July 21Summary: Where do we go from here, and what does it matter? (print)Fails and Pierce (2010)


  • Assesment is based on your essay (5000-6000 words). Your essay title must be chosen from the list that I will distribute
  • The Department’s universal deadline applies. There is only one deadline, and no extensions will be granted. Should you fall ill, you must provide a medical certificate.
  • Please send your essays by mail (leaving enough time for delivery by the due-date), or hand it in to the

Essay titles

  1. Do attitudes and political cultures matter?
  2. Does social science need a separate ‘support for democracy’ scale for Central and Eastern Europe?
  3. ‘Religion and Democracy are incompatible.’ Discuss!
  4. How and why should the original McClosky scale be amended?
  5. What, if anything, could/should Western scholars learn from the indicators and findings from the African, Latin, and Arab Barometer surveys?
  6. Do standard scales adequately reflect the different concepts of democracy?
  7. Has our notion of democracy changed so much since the 1960s that we need a new scale? What would it look like?

Members of the A-Team may write an essay based on their own data.



   Almond, Gabriel A. and Sidney Verba. 1965. The Civic Culture. Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Bartels, Larry M.. 2003. Democracy with Attitudes. In Electoral Democracy, ed. Michael B. MacKuen and George Rabinowitz. University of Michigan Press pp. 48–82.

Canetti-Nisim, Daphna. 2004. “The Effect of Religiosity on Endorsement of Democratic Values. The Mediating Influence of Authoritarianism.” Political Behavior 26(4):377–398.

Chong, Dennis, Herbert McClosky and John Zaller. 1983. “Patterns of Support for Democratic and Capitalist Values in the United States.” British Journal of Political Science 13(4):401–440.

Dalton, Russell J. 1994. “Communists and Democrats. Democratic Attitudes in the Two Germanies.” British Journal of Political Science 24(4):469–493.

Dalton, Russell J. 1999. Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. In Critical Citizens. Global Support for Democratic Government, ed. Pippa Norris. Oxford u.a.: Oxford University Press pp. 57–77.

Fabrigar, Leandre R., Jon Krosnick and Bonnie L. MacDougall. 2005. Attitudes Measurement. Techniques for Measuring the Unobservable. In Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, ed. Timothy C. Brock and Melanie C. Green. 2 ed. Tousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage pp. 17–40.

Fails, Matthew D. and Heather Nicole Pierce. 2010. “Changing Mass Attitudes and Democratic Deepening.” Political Research Quarterly 63(1):174–187.

Feldman, Stanley. 2003. Values, Ideology, and the Structure of Political Attitudes. In Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, ed. David Sears, Leonie Huddy and Robert Jervis. 3 ed. Oxford University Press.

Gibson, James L., Raymond M. Duch and Kent L. Tedin. 1992. “Democratic Values and the Transformation of the Soviet Union.” The Journal of Politics 54(2):329–371.

Inglehart, Ronald. 1999. Postmodernization Erodes Respect for Authority, but Increases Support for Democracy. In Critical Citizens. Global Support for Democratic Government, ed. Pippa Norris. Oxford u.a.: Oxford University Press pp. 236–256.

Krosnick, Jon A. and Stanley Presser. 2010. Question and Questionnaire Design. In Handbook of Survey Research, ed. Peter V. Marsden and James D. Wright. 2 ed. Bingley: Emerald pp. 263–313.

Lane, Robert E. 1962. Political Ideology. Why the American Common Man Believes What He Does. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe.

McClosky, Herbert. 1964. “Consensus and Ideology in American Politics.” The American Political Science Review 58(2):361–382.

Miller, Arthur H., Vicki L. Hesli and William M. Reisinger. 1997. “Conceptions of Democracy among Mass and Elite in Post-Soviet Societies.” British Journal of Political Science 27(2):157–190.

Schedler, Andreas and Rodolfo Sarsfield. 2007. “Democrats with Adjectives: Linking Direct and Indirect Measures of Democratic Support.” European Journal of Political Research 46(5):637–659.

Tessler, Mark. 2002. “Do Islamic Orientations Influence Attitudes Toward Democracy in the Arab World? Evidence from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Algeria.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 43(3-5):229–249.

Walker, Lee Demetrius. 2009. “Delegative Democratic Attitudes and Institutional Support in Central America.” Comparative Politics 42(1):83–101.