The Fairness of National Decision-making Procedures: The Views of Adolescents in 18 European Countries

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ABSTRACT

This study examines adolescents' evaluation of the fairness of three forms of democratic decision-making procedures (direct democracy, representative democracy and group representation) and one non-democratic procedure (oligarchy). Social dominance orientation-Egalitarianism (SDO-E), religious group identification and the countries' level of democracy are examined as predictors. The 2008 Europroject dataset was used, which contained 4441 native majority adolescents (mean age = 16.1 years) in 18 European countries. Adolescents evaluated direct democracy as most fair, followed by group representation, representative democracy and oligarchy. This rank order was found independent of the issue under consideration (moral or social), and of SDO-E and religious identification, and across the countries. In addition, adolescents scoring higher on SDO-E and on religious identification found group representation and non-democratic oligarchy fairer. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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