The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain

Jennings, Will, Clarke, Nick, Moss, Jonathan and Stoker, Gerry (2017) The decline in diffuse support for national politics: the long view on political discontent in Britain. Public Opinion Quarterly, 81 (3). pp. 748-758. ISSN 0033-362X

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Abstract

This research note considers how to track long-term trajectories of political discontent in Britain. Many accounts are confined to using either survey data drawn from recent decades or imperfect behavioral measures such as voting or party membership as indicators of political disengagement. We instead develop an approach that provides the long view on political disaffection. We first consider time-series data available from repeated survey measures. We next replicate historic survey questions to observe change in public opinion relative to earlier points in time. Finally, we use Stimson’s (1991) dyad-ratios algorithm to construct an over-time index of political discontent that combines data from multiple poll series. This reveals rising levels of political discontent for both specific and diffuse measures of mass opinion. Our method and findings offer insights into the rising tide of disillusionment afflicting many contemporary democracies.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Jonathan Moss
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2017 14:26
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2017 14:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71127

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