Comparative European Politics

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 781–801 | Cite as

All the same? Examining the link between three kinds of political dissatisfaction and protest

  • Henrik Serup ChristensenEmail author
Original Article


Several studies have noted a surge in political dissatisfaction but there is no agreement on the consequences for democracy. This disagreement is often treated as a question of degree of dissatisfaction but can also suggest the existence of different kinds of political dissatisfaction. This article therefore examines the existence of difference kinds of political dissatisfaction and the link to protest participation, since this is frequently tied to political dissatisfaction. The data used comes from the fourth round of the European Social Survey from 2008 and includes 25 democratic European countries and with 47489 respondents. The results suggest the existence of three distinct and discrete types of political disatisfaction. Only one of these is linked to protest, a behaviour frequently performed by satisifed citizens. These results show the potential of treating political dissatisfaction as a problem of kind rather than degree.


Political disenchantment Political dissatisfaction Protest Democracy 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Åbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland

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