Seminar 7: Education and support for representative, direct and stealth democracy

Venue: Building 24, Copland, Room 1171, LJ Hume Centre

Speaker: Hilde Coffé is a Senior Lecturer at the Political Science and International Relations Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research interests focus on public opinion, political behaviour, political representation and comparative research. She has written numerous articles which have been published in leading Political Science and Sociology journals and has been a visiting fellow and given presentations at different institutions, including University of California (UC) Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, University of Nebraska (Lincoln), University of Manchester and University of Sussex. She is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, where she is working within The Electoral Integrity Project and looking at citizens' perceptions about the quality of elections.

Paper Title: Education and support for representative, direct and stealth democracy

Paper Abstract: Using data collected within the scope of a Dutch internet panel survey (LISS) in 2011, this study tracks public support for direct, stealth and representative democracy according to educational level. Our findings indicate that, in terms of overall support for each specific type of democracy, lower educated citizens are significantly more supportive of stealth and direct democracy than highly educated citizens. While the mean levels of support for representative democracy do not differ significantly between levels of education, multivariate OLS regression analyses show that lower educated citizens are noticeably more supportive of representative democracy once political efficacy, trust and satisfaction are introduced. When contrasting the different types of democracy directly with one another, we find that lower educated citizens have a greater tendency to prefer direct and (to a lesser extent) stealth democracy over representative democracy than higher educated citizens. Multivariate OLS regression analyses indicate that most of these educational gaps cease to be significant once the lower levels of political efficacy, trust and satisfaction of lower educated citizens are taken into account. Implications of these results for the debate on the functioning of democracy are discussed

Date & time

Mon 04 Aug 2014, 12am


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