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Electoral legitimacy in the United States: Effects on political efficacy, trust and participation

Posted on:2007-04-12Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of PittsburghCandidate:McLean, Stephanie CFull Text:PDF
GTID:1446390005477268Subject:Political science
The 2000 presidential election was a disaster for the legitimacy of the electoral process in America, leaving lasting impressions on citizens' attitudes and behaviors regarding campaigns and elections. This dissertation has two main goals. The first is to discover the determinants of attitudes about election fairness in the United States. In broad terms, this is an exploration of the variables that influence attitudes about controversial moments in American politics. More specifically, the emphasis is on the comparative importance of procedural concerns, partisan interest, and ideological differences in determining attitudes about the fairness of American elections. Second, I investigate the effect of different kinds of procedural problems in elections on political attitudes and behaviors. Variables of interest include trust in government, political efficacy, interest and participation in campaign activity.; This study focuses on attitudes and behaviors related to the 2000 presidential election, and to a lesser extent, subsequent elections in 2002 and 2004. It also provides original experimental data that involves hypothetical election scenarios, with variation in procedural problems and election outcomes.; The decline in trust in government and political participation widely noted by scholars in recent years suggests that perceptions of procedural problems and self-interested political actors may play a part in public disillusionment with government and democratic processes. Overall, then, this dissertation is a study of the consequences of watershed events in American politics on faith and engagement in the political process.
Keywords/Search Tags:Political, Election
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