Attitudinal Political Support and Behavioral Compliance – New Evidence to a Long-Standing Debate

36 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014

See all articles by Peter Esaiasson

Peter Esaiasson

University of Gothenburg

Mattias Ottervik

Shandong University - School of Political Science and Public Administration; The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Government & Public Administration

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Theory suggests that citizen attitudinal support is essential for regime stability. However, it is less clear that the survey indicators favored by attitudinal support scholars is informative about the theorized relationship. To contribute new evidence to this long-standing debate over measurement validity, we develop a theoretically grounded measure of compliant behavior that comprises law abidance, tax compliance, and conformance with an impartial state administration (the inverse of which is corruption). Combining our composite measure of behavioral compliance with attitudinal support measures as registered in WVS, EVS, CSES, and ESS, we find a strong and consistent country-level correlation between support and compliance. Further strengthening validity claims, the relationship is robust for controls of economic and democratic development, and support indicators pick up temporal dynamics of the support-compliance relationship.

Keywords: political support, legitimacy, behavioral compliance, satisfaction with democracy; institutional trust

Suggested Citation

Esaiasson, Peter and Ottervik, Mattias, Attitudinal Political Support and Behavioral Compliance – New Evidence to a Long-Standing Debate (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2455048

Peter Esaiasson (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

Mattias Ottervik

Shandong University - School of Political Science and Public Administration ( email )

Binhai Road 72
Qingdao, Jimo, Shandong
China

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Government & Public Administration ( email )

Third Floor, T. C. Cheng Building
United College
Shatin
Hong Kong

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