How Citizens View and Evaluate Political Parties and Why it Matters? The Case of Portugal (1985-2009)

Conceição Pequito Teixeira, Paulo Almeida Pereira


This article reviwes the case of the often-claimed "crisis of parties" in Portugal, and argues that such controversy rests partly on "ambiguous" evidence. Our two main objectives are: 1) finding out the nature and extension of public support (or lack thereof) of parties, determining what are the consequences of the lack of public support for parties in citizens´ pressure to reform democrtic institutions. Based on data of four National Public Opinion Surveys, we show that attitudes regarding parties comprehend two conceptually and empirically distinct dimensions: diffuse support and specific support. Afterwards we saw, how a strong criticism of parties' performance coexists in Portugal with strong citizen pressure over political actors compelling them to implement democratic reforms. Lastly, through logistical regression models, we can conclude that both lack of specific support ("critical antipartysism") and lack of diffuse support ("delegitimizing antipartysism") are strong preditors of Portuguese citizen´ reformist orientations and calls.

Keywords: political parties, public opinion, anti-party sentiments, democratic institutional reform, Portugal.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.