Mapping Popular Support for Democracy in Germany
This chapter examines the levels and changes in popular support in the Federal Republic of Germany between 1984 and 2014. The chapter is divided into two principal sections. The first sets out support for four key objects of the political system: (1) the functioning of democracy overall; (2) pride in the Basic Law; (3) trust in democratic institutions; and (4) trust in the European Union. Rather than support having a predictable trajectory, the levels depend upon the object evaluated and the time-frame in which they are reviewed. Further, some of the east-west differences have narrowed, whilst others have remained static. The second section investigates how levels of support have changed in response to key theoretical variables. It demonstrates that value profiles, engagement with civil society, perceptions of political-economy and partisanship have all altered in ways that affected the levels and trajectory of support.