Technocratic attitudes in liberal democracies

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The rise of complex societal puzzles in the last decade, like the Covid-19 crisis, simultaneously gave rise to the discussion about the role of experts in the political decision-making process. This quantitative research contributes to this discussion and concerns the technocratic attitudes among citizens of liberal democracies. First, the literature review sets out different views on representation, characteristics of technocrats, circumstances of increase in technocratic attitudes, and the difference between democratic technocrats and autocratic technocrats. Using multiple regression analysis on new survey data collected during the Covid-19 crisis, this research determines which citizens are more likely to have technocratic feelings. This research determines whether satisfaction with party democracy, political efficacy, elitism, ideological self-placement, and European Union support determine how technocratic a citizen is. The results show that satisfaction with party democracy stands in a positive relationship with the level of technocratic attitudes of a citizen. On top of that, this research finds higher education, European Union support, considering to be part of the elite and being right-wing oriented, also increases the chance of a higher level of technocratic attitudes in citizens. Using logistic regression analysis, this study establishes the differences between democratic technocrats and autocratic technocrats. Citizens who support party democracy, and or citizens who have a higher income are more likely to be democratic technocrats. Citizens who show higher satisfaction with the government while not supporting democracy, and or are higher educated, and or are more politically right-wing oriented are more likely to be autocratic technocrats. Keywords: technocracy, liberal democracy, crisis, Covid-19 crisis, autocratic attitudes, technocratic attitudes, democratic attitudes, multiple regression analysis, logistic regression analysis
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