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Title: Polarization Perception and Support for Democracy: The Case of Taiwan
Authors: 俞振華
Yu , Eric Chen-hua
Hsiao, Yi-ching
Contributors: 選研中心
Keywords: Party polarization; democracy; affect; issue; Taiwan
Date: 2020-03
Issue Date: 2021-10-27 14:37:06 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Recently, the decline in support for democracy in consolidated democracies has gained substantial attention and provoked a heated scholarly debate (Foa and Mounk, 2016). As multiple reasons may contribute to explaining why citizens have lost faith in democratic systems, this article focuses on the linkage between political polarization and democratic support at the mass level. By using data from a recent survey conducted in Taiwan, we first construct two measures of party polarization—namely, the affective polarization score and perceived issue polarization score. While the former can be regarded as an identity-based polarization measure, the latter is a policy-based measure. Then, we explore the associations between the two polarization measures and various attitudes toward democracy. Our empirical findings suggest that Taiwanese people who have more diverse affects toward the two major parties are more likely to make a negative assessment of Taiwan’s current and future democracy and be less supportive of the democratic system. However, people who perceive a greater issue polarization between the two major parties do not necessarily have more positive or negative attitudes toward democracy. As an implication for future democratic development, this analysis suggests that affective party polarization may be harmful to the health of democracy.
Relation: Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol.55, No.8, pp.1143-1162
Data Type: article
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