Disaggregating Diffuse Support of Constitutional Courts: The Case of Spain Open Access

Sklar, Elizabeth Sydney (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/rj4305028?locale=en
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Abstract

This thesis examines how and why diffuse support for the Spanish Constitutional Court varies. The study stems from Vanberg's work on the German Constitutional Court. It disaggregates Vanberg's concept of diffuse support into several dimensions: economic, political, sociological, psychological, and regional factors. Additionally, it applies Vanberg's work to the case of Spain. The study finds that breaking down diffuse support is important in understanding variations in support for the Constitutional Court. Citizens who perceive a better economic situation and citizens of a higher social class are more likely to support the Constitutional Court, while citizens from the Basque and Catalonian regions of Spain are less likely to support the Constitutional Court. This research begins to answer the question, "Why do some courts succeed and other fail?" The findings support the idea that the economic situation and regional make-up of a state matter. Additionally, this study supports Vanberg's suggestion that Constitutional Courts may not be as significant a countermajoritarian force as expected, as the Constitutional Court is most popular among already well-represented majorities.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Vanberg_______________________________________________________1

Public Opinion/Legitimacy________________________________________3

Courts as Institutions____________________________________________6

Disaggregating Public Opinion_____________________________________9

The Case of Spain_______________________________________________11

Data__________________________________________________________18

The Dependent Variable__________________________________________19

Hypothesis_____________________________________________________22

Multivariate Analysis: A Single-Equation Model_______________________24

Analysis_______________________________________________________27

Implications and Conclusions______________________________________32

References_____________________________________________________37

Appendix______________________________________________________40

List of Figures

Figure 1: Monitoring Relationships Among the Constitutional Court, the Legislature, and the Public___________40

Figure 2: Confidence in the Constitutional Court Over Time__________________________________________41

Figure 3: Confidence in the Constitutional Court, Parliament, and Monarchy Over Time____________________42

List of Tables

Table 1: Operationalizing the Dependent and Independent Variables___________________________________43

Table 2: A Single-Equation Model of Public Opinion of the Spanish Constitutional Court___________________44

Table 3: A Single-Equation Model of Public Opinion of the Spanish Constitutional Court, Regional Analysis____45

Table 4: A Single-Equation Model of Public Opinion of the Spanish Constitutional Court, 1998 to 2014________46

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