Attitudinal Political Support and Behavioral Compliance – New Evidence to a Long-Standing Debate
36 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
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
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