My thesis studies the role of institutional factors in determining perceived democratic legitimacy. In particular, I build on a body of recent work that argues that increased European integration reduces perceptions of policy autonomy and at that this leads to reduced democratic legitimacy. Current work has limited itself to aggregate studies of Southern Europe over the crisis period, where one would expect the effect to be most likely, but also increases the chances of spurious relationships given the political turmoil of the time. My PhD tackles the problem from both individual and aggregate levels, all available European Union countries, and across a larger time period. Ultimately, it aims to further the work on democratic legitimacy and institutional variables theoretically and empirically, providing a more robust answer to whether there really is a relationship – and how much it matters.
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