The effect of societal culture on (ad)opting different democratic institutions: A cross-national study

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Examining the relation between cultural orientations and political institutional arrangements (i.e. democratic models) is a new theme in institutional research. The results of a few recent studies have provided a general picture of how societal culture and models of democracy walk hand in hand. However, much more should be done to elucidate more details of this striking, mysterious picture. To this aim, the effect of cultural orientations on the institutional choices that forming models of democracy should be studied. These choices are manifestations of the political preferences of people in each society. They can be considered outcomes of the interaction between a constellation of cultural orientations and an arrangement of institutional choices. While cultural orientations are durable and hard to change, institutional settings can be reformed and manipulated. In this study, I want to zoom in on the interrelations between cultural orientations and some underlying institutional elements forming different models/patterns of democracy. The preference for and superiority of one political institutional option over another (e.g. presidential vs parliamentary; proportional vs majoritarian electoral system; provision of direct democracy and adoption of compulsory voting) is a challenging, crucial and endless debate among political scientists. Using a comparative, cross-national and empirical approach, this study tries to demonstrate how cultural orientations (should) co-determine opting and adopting the constitutional/institutional choices. The importance of compatibility between institutional arrangements and cultural orientations should, in my estimation, be a part of the debate agenda on designing democratic institutions. Indeed, the involvement of societal culture would change the starting point of the debate; from ‘what is the best model/institutional choice?’ to ‘what is the most compatible model/institutional choice?’
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019
EventSixth WINIR conference ( 2019): Institutions for Inclusive Societies: Global and Comparative Perspectives - Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Duration: 19 Sept 201921 Sept 2019


ConferenceSixth WINIR conference ( 2019)
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