Legitimacy Reseach in Progress IV: Honorata Mazepus
Honorata Mazepus is reaching the end of her PhD research at our Profile Area Political Legitimacy. She hopes to defend her dissertation in the summer of 2016 at Leiden University. Title: "What makes authorities legitimate in the eyes of citizens? An investigation of perceived legitimacy in different political regimes." She was so kind to already share an abstract of her thesis with us.
In her thesis, Honorata Mazepus presents a comparative research into political legitimacy. She researches what factors contribute to perceiving political authorities as legitimate by individuals socialized in different political regimes. Using experimental vignettes and original survey data, the project explores to what extent normative qualities (moral standing) of political authorities play a role in citizens’ evaluations of these authorities. Moreover, this thesis challenges the argument that there is something unique about the expectations about political authorities that citizens in non-democratic regimes have. It does so by comparing the factors influencing perceived legitimacy of governments in different political regimes: two post-Soviet non-democracies (Russia and Ukraine) and old and new democracies in Europe (France, Netherlands, and Poland).
The findings in all five countries support the theoretical model of a citizen that is concerned with both his/her personal material well-being and fairness of authorities. The factor that had the largest positive effect on perceived legitimacy across countries was distributive justice—the fairness in providing goods and services across society. Furthermore, the ideas about what makes political authorities legitimate were largely similar in all five cases and the results revealed that the output aspects of governing (e.g. welfare, order, and stability) are not as essential when evaluating legitimacy as input (e.g. elections, trust, representation) and throughput (e.g. fair procedures, legality, transparency, and integrity of authorities).
Dissertation title: "What makes authorities legitimate in the eyes of citizens? An investigation of perceived legitimacy in different political regimes."
PhD candidate: Honorata Mazepus
Start of research: 2011
PhD defense: expected in 2016
Supervisors: prof. dr. I.C. van Biezen & prof. dr. A.W.M. Gerrits
Faculties: Mazepus is a PhD candidate and teacher at the Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs and at the Faculty of Social Sciences