Project Legitimacy

Our contemporary global politics highlights events of democratic backsliding. Despite the growing attention to this phenomenon, we know less about the presence and strength of democratic norms among citizens. This is surprising because democratic norms play a critical role in safeguarding the integrity of democratic systems. Project Legitimacy will provide new insights on how we can make democracy more resilient, by studying the subtle shifts in attitudes and convictions regarding democracy in citizens, using theoretical frameworks and a meticulously designed panel study spanning multiple waves. The project also explores the responses of citizens when faced with breaches of democratic norms by political figures.

Start of the project

The kick-off of the project was in the fall of 2023.

Goal of the project

Understanding why democratic decay happens and how it can be prevented. By concentrating on the Netherlands, a nation often lauded for its democratic resilience yet not immune to backsliding tendencies, our research acquires major social relevance. We conduct a three-wave panel study among a representative sample of the Dutch population. Respondents are asked about levels of affective polarization and attitudes on (liberal) democracy and toleration. The project team received a midsize grant from the UvA. The Hot Politics Lab leads a work package in this project.

Current status

Project Legitimacy is an ongoing research project.

Researchers on this project

Bert Bakker

Matthijs Rooduijn

Gijs Schumacher

Honorata Mazepus

More about the project

Learn more about project Legitimacy through our selection of external publications.

First wave:

Other projects from Hot Politics Lab

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