Pedro Magalhães

Working Papers

  • The Political and Moral Economies of Democratic Support,” with Christopher Claassen, March 2020.
  • Popular support for democracy is the lifeblood of stable democratic systems. Yet existing research is poorly suited for explaining why democratic support falls and how it might rise again, because it uses static research designs, and identifies the sources of support as being fairly static factors such as institutions and political cultures. In contrast, this paper proposes and tests two explanations for changes in democratic support: a political-economic theory focusing on fluctuations in the effectiveness of governance, and a moral-economic theory focusing on variations in the impartiality of governance and political equality. Using dynamic, time-series, cross-sectional tests, we find that the most important drivers of changes in suppsort are moral rather than political-economic. Preserving the legitimacy of democracy, and therefore its survival, rests on the extent to which democratic governments can curb corruption, treat citizens impartially, and provide more equitable access to power across class, ethnic, and gender divides.formance on satisfaction with democracy across Europe is indeed moderated by procedural fairness, as captured by country-year measures of impartiality in public administration or the overall quality of governance.

  • As Bases Sociais dos Partidos Portugueses,” with João Cancela, IPRI Working Paper 60/2020.
  •  Este estudo examina os inquéritos pós-eleitorais de 2002 a 2019 para determinar as principais características sociais dos eleitorados dos principais partidos portugueses e analisar em que medida ocorreram transformações relevantes do longo deste período. Existem traços importantes de continuidade desde 2002 até hoje: a ausência de uma relação entre o sexo dos inquiridos e as suas opções de voto; uma relação forte entre a intensidade da religiosidade e da prática religiosa e as opções pelo voto à direita do espectro partidário; e a inexistência de uma clivagem esquerda-direita do ponto de vista da instrução. Por outro lado, existem também sinais de mudança. Há uma relação cada vez mais forte entre quer o sexo dos inquiridos quer o seu rendimento e a participação eleitoral, com os homens e aqueles com rendimen- tos mais elevados a absterem-se menos. Além disso, a partir de 2015, o centro-direita (PSD+CDS) começa a mostrar dificuldades em atrair o voto dos mais velhos. Por fim, se até 2009 ter rendimentos mais elevados não aumentava significativamente a propensão para votar nos partidos de centro-direita, essa relação intensifica-se a partir das eleições de 2011.

  • Economic Outcomes, Quality of Governance, and Satisfaction with Democracy,” November 2016. Revised version included in in C. Van Ham et al. (eds.), Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy Crisis: Explaining Trends and Cross-National Differences in Established Democracies.
  • Citizens’ satisfaction with the way democracy works in practice in their country seems to be driven by, among other factors, short-term economic performance. However, this effect seems to be unstable, and in some cases has even failed to be confirmed. This paper suggests a cause for that instability. It takes as its starting point a fundamental insight of social and organisational psychology: the existence of a fundamental process-outcome interaction, through which procedural fairness and the overall quality and transparency of decision-making moderates the effects of outcome favorability in the explanation of support for decision-makers and authorities in organisations. Using data from six waves of the European Social Survey, it shows that the effect of objective economic performance on satisfaction with democracy across Europe is indeed moderated by procedural fairness, as captured by country-year measures of impartiality in public administration or the overall quality of governance.

  • Economy, Ideology, and the Elephant in the Room: A Research Note on the Elections of the Great Recession in Europe,” August 2012.
  • The electoral performance of incumbent parties in legislative elections in Europe since the beginning of the “Great Recession” has been described in two contrasting ways. For some, it has been characterized by an “anti-leftist” wave, signalling a change in voters fundamental preferences against leftist parties and policies. For others, ideology has had little to do with recent events: instead, voters have simply punished incumbents for bad performances and rewarded them for good ones, as a simple “retrospective voting” theory would suggest. Looking at the electoral performance of Prime Ministers’ parties from January 2008 until today, the paper shows that results are, instead, most compatible with a “luxury parties” hypothesis: under conditions of low or negative growth, leftist incumbents have done significantly worse than rightist ones, while, for those countries where growth resumed, leftist incumbents have done significantly better. Furthermore, the paper suggests that part of the continued decline in the electoral performance of incumbents in many countries observed until today is fundamentally a Eurozone phenomenon: voters in those countries seem to be turning their dissatisfaction with the protracted financial, currency, and political crisis in the Eurozone to the target more at hand – i.e., national governments – punishing them increasingly and above and beyond what developments in the domestic economic would justify.

  • Political Culture in Southern Europe: Searching for Exceptionalism,” with Mariano Torcal, February 2009.
  • Exposure to Polls, Cognitive Mobilization and Voting Behavior: the 2002 Elections in Portugal,” December 2006.
  • Thinner than Thin: Political Culture and Political Action in Portugal,” with André Freire and Ana Espírito Santo, February 2003.
  • Whatever Happened to Portuguese Euroscepticism? The Depoliticization of Europe and its Consequences,” December 2002.
  • Although opinions about Portuguese membership in the EU have ceased to play a crucial role both in party appeals and electoral behavior, that is not the case in what concerns their impact on other forms of political behavior and attitudes. More specifically, I will suggest that the decline in electoral turnout currently experienced in Portugal, particularly since 1995, cannot be fully understood with exploring the combination between resilient Euroscepticism among a minority of the population and the depoliticization of Europe at the level of political élites. Furthermore, I will also suggest that, under the present conditions, anti-Europeanism may have developed into a more permanent and disturbing set of political attitudes of mistrust in, and disengagement from, domestic political institutions.

You can also check my Working Papers at Google Scholar