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Is electoral punishment important for democracy? The role of social capital and religious resources

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  • Ambra, Poggi
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    Electoral punishment is the main instrument that citizens have to keep government accountable, answerable and accessible to the people they serve. The aim of this paper is to empirically investigate whether individual social resources - social capital and religious resources - may enhance the probability that individuals value electoral punishment important for democracy. We use data from the 2012 European Social Survey Multilevel Data and a multilevelapproach. Our findings lend support to the view that social resources matter in determining the importance of electoral punishment, even if the importance of each resource varies across countries. Social capital has a complex effect on the importance of electoral punishment: trust reduces the probability that individuals value electoral punishment, while social participation increases it. Religious resources result negatively correlated with the importance of electoral punishment suggesting that loyalty versus religious values and traditions imply unconditional citizens’ support for government. Finally, some religions seem to have a specific role in enhancing the importance of electoral punishment confirming an active role of religious values and authorities in shaping individual political behaviors.

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    Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 368.

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    Length: 23
    Date of creation: 19 Jul 2017
    Date of revision: 19 Jul 2017
    Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:368
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