Challenges in a Changing World: Issues in Critical Discourse by Ruth Wodak, Christoph Ludwig

By Ruth Wodak, Christoph Ludwig

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Of course we all hope that there will not be another war, but if it were to come to that, would you be willing to fight for your country? ’ Democracy as an Ideal Form of Government It is basic to my thesis that citizens can compare and evaluate alternative types of regimes, beyond merely assessing the immediate attractiveness of the particular regime under which they are currently living. Thus, inquiry into the attractiveness of democracy is possible (assuming authorities allow the research to be conducted) even among populations living under non- or quasi-democratic regimes.

A Pole, strongly identified with the Polish political community may none the less have been an ardent member of Solidarity and thus sought to depose the pre-1989 regime. And, finally, one 34 CROSS-NATIONAL TRENDS IN CONFIDENCE could well accept the current Polish regime but campaign vigorously for the electoral victory of the opposition. Data from the World Values Surveys allow for measurement of these forms of political support, namely: identification with the political community, as well as the legitimacy of democratic principles, and the effectiveness of the regime performance.

Despite the richness of recent cross-national data-sets, much survey evidence in newer democracies only started in the 1990s. In assessing trends over time, multiple indicators are better than single ones but often we have only two or three observation points. If so, we need to consider whether the observations occurred during ‘typical’ periods. Evidence from national election studies, for example, may monitor higher levels of THE GROWTH OF CRITICAL CITIZENS? 15 political efficacy than periods of normal politics.

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