Does Satisfaction with Democracy really increase Happiness? Direct Democracy and Individual Satisfaction in Switzerland

Stadelmann-Steffen, Isabelle; Vatter, Adrian (2012). Does Satisfaction with Democracy really increase Happiness? Direct Democracy and Individual Satisfaction in Switzerland. Political behavior, 34(3), pp. 535-559. New York, N.Y.: Springer US; http://www.springer-ny.com 10.1007/s11109-011-9164-y

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This paper takes the influential “direct democracy makes people happy”-research as a starting point and asks whether direct democracy impacts individual satisfaction. Unlike former studies we distinguish two aspects of individual satisfaction, namely satisfaction with life (“happiness”) and with how democracy works. Based on multilevel analysis of the 26 Swiss cantons we show that the theoretical assumption on which the happiness hypothesis is based has to be questioned, as there is very little evidence for a robust relationship between satisfaction with democracy and life satisfaction. Furthermore, we do not find a substantive positive effect of direct democracy on happiness. However, with respect to satisfaction with democracy, our analysis shows some evidence for a procedural effect of direct democracy, i.e. positive effects related to using direct democratic rights, rather than these rights per se.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Stadelmann, Isabelle and Vatter, Adrian

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

0190-9320

Publisher:

Springer US; http://www.springer-ny.com

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:24

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 18:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s11109-011-9164-y

Web of Science ID:

000307270300007

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.8649

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/8649 (FactScience: 214257)

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