On Democratic Disconnection
The IUP Journal of International Relations, Vol. XI, No. 4, October 2017, pp. 7-16
Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 23, 2018
The results of a recent study on the popularity of Western democracy are rather scary. Most respondents have little or no confidence in politics; they distrust the media, justice, and institutions altogether. The most reasonable interpretation of the above results is that there exists a large number of young Europeans who apparently have lost their faith in the political system that surrounds them, in the sense that they no longer hope that it will give them the right and the opportunity to freely unfold their personality. In particular, the new generation wakes up every day with the feeling that democracy has nothing to offer but unsubstantiated hopes. At the same time, there is a growing distrust towards state structures in the sense that a majority of young Europeans feel betrayed by other generations as well as by the system. The findings of surveys depict a weakening of democracy, which is also defined as a democratic disconnect. This means that people are inclining towards authoritarian alternatives. The long-term stability of Western democracies requires more legitimacy at national level not only to provide space for internal policy, but also to ensure respect for social and economic commitments over time.
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