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(Im)Perfect Descriptive Representation: Slovenia in the Spotlight

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  • Lars Johannsen
  • Alenka Krašovec, University of Ljubljana, Slovenien
  • Gregor Čehovin, University of Ljubljana, Slovenien

The failure to ensure descriptive representation is one of the challenges facing democracy. In the literature, it is suggested that, among others, imperfect descriptive representation is connected to insufficient legitimacy as well as low trust in political institutions. This paper analyses the link between descriptive representation and both people's satisfaction with the way democracy is working in practice and trust in political institutions in Slovenia which, despite 30 years of democratic rule, are characterised by persistent low trust and satisfaction levels. Considering longitudinal public opinion data and a database on the composition of the Slovenian parliament (eight terms) in terms of gender, age groups and education, we find that also in Slovenia especially women, the young, the elderly and those with a basic education are underrepresented, with this being reflected in trust in the parliament and people's perception of the way in which democracy is working. Still, the fact such underrepresentation has continued for some time (regardless of certain changes) means these findings are only part of the explanation.

TidsskriftPolitics in Central Europe
Sider (fra-til)271-294
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022

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