Analyses on sources of legitimization bear, mostly, on theoretical reflection. The author aims to assess underpinnings of legitimacy in a quantitative way. This is an empirical study which examines determinants of subjective legitimization of government and social system in 21 European societies. Data comes from the first edition of European Social Survey carried out on national random samples in 2002. Legitimization is defined in terms of support for government, democracy, and economic policy of a given state. He aims, first, at assessing relative “levels” of legitimization throughout analyzed societies. Second, various sets of individual measures of social characteristics and attitudes are employed in order to establish some universal requirements of legitimacy. Third, an attempt is made to define macro-structural determinants of variations in legitimacy related to economic development, political system, degree of corruption and social structure. Finally, these findings are discussed in reference to most recent hipotheses concerning the relations between legitimization, welfare state and decreasing confidence and trust.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.