Democratic consolidation is a complex problem area. In this article it is analyzed, first, from the perspective of the concept of support for democracy, originally conceptualized by David Easton and then elaborated by Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Russell Dalton. Second, since democratic institutions and procedures do not operate in a void, the social context of civil society, social engagement and political parties are analyzed. As far as possible, the empirical analyses are conducted according to a complex and ramified theoretical model based on these concepts. Eleven European countries are analyzed including seven established democracies, three of which are historically Catholic countries (Spain, Italy, Ireland). In light of the importance of the communist legacy, the data for Germany are presented separately for western and eastern lands. The data presented in this article are derived from the most recent, publicly accessible research containing comparable information on all 11 countries, with a few minor exceptions.
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”.