Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



How does being an electoral winner or loser shape a citizen’s satisfaction with democracy? More importantly, how does the voter’s institutional context moderate this relationship? In this paper, I demonstrate that the institutional context of a democracy interacts with a citizen’s national- level electoral loser status to moderate the relationship between the individual’s status as a loser and her satisfaction with democracy in her country. I also explore the way winning and losing at different levels of representation interact to formulate satisfaction with democracy. Using cross-sectional survey data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems nested in 75 different country-election year cases over the time period of 1996 to 2012, I find mixed evidence that electoral losers are more likely to be satisfied with democracy when their chosen party is more favored by the party vote/seat share discrepancy. Unlike losing voters, winning voters do not appear to be more or less likely to be satisfied based on the vote/seat discrepancy. I also find mixed support for the idea that winning at the national level produces greater satisfaction than winning at the district level.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kerevel, Yann