SEMINAR: “Nobody seems to be fully representing me: belief unconstraint and its effects on the political system”

Berta Barbet (UAB)

13th de February, 13:00h, Sala Annexa (B1/-109) de la Facultat de Ciències Polítiques i Sociologia de la UAB

Constraint on political beliefs is a key pre-condition for political parties’ ability to represent citizens’ preferences and, consequently, for the system’s capacity to fulfill its purpose satisfactorily. Nonetheless the structure of beliefs’ constraint is not usually included in studies exploring the elements that affect citizens’ satisfaction with the functioning of the system. This paper tries to fill this gap. It does so distinguish between two logics of unconstraint not usually differentiated in the literature: lack of constraint due to alienation and unsophisticated thinking around issues, and lack of constraint due to the use of different schemes of thinking around political objects. The paper shows that the two types of unconstraint beliefs systems co-exist in westernEuropean societies. It also demonstrates that both have an impact on voters’ satisfaction with the functioning of democracy.