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Does Economic Adjustment Affect the Legitimacy of Democracies?

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Many studies show that governments have reacted differently to the structural crisis of Keynesian models of development. Some have opted for a neo-liberal orthodox adjustment policy (OAP); others have adopted either a social-democrat heterodox adjustment policy (HAP) or a Keynesian adjustment policy (KAP). According to many studies, only HAPs preserve or improve the legitimacy of democracies given that they permit, in conformity with the theory of political development, to resume economic growth while safeguarding redistributive policies. This article largely confirms the validity of this hypothesis through a comparative analysis of various economic adjustment policies implemented by the United Kingdom (OAP), Denmark, Spain, Portugal (HAP) France, Italy and Greece (KAP) and by an assessment of their respective impacts upon governments' socioeconomic performances, citizens economic perceptions and satisfaction toward the functioning of democracy.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7, Canada


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