To evaluate and diagnose behaviors and attitudes of society towards democracy
Since the beginning of the third wave of democratization (1974), several international projects have analyzed the “health” of democracies from a global perspective, by monitoring citizens’ attitudes towards democratic regimes.
Given that democracy is a multidimensional reality, some questions that the OQD seeks to answer are: what do the Portuguese people expect from democracy? How do they evaluate its multiple dimensions?
In this sense, the OQD conducts studies that seek to evaluate and diagnose the quality of democracy in Portugal, as well as in the African Countries of Portuguese Official Language (PALOPS).
During moments of prolonged crisis, such as the one Portugal has experienced for the last few years, it is fundamental to listen, to monitor, and to evaluate the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of the Portuguese people toward democracy.
Recent studies on European citizens’ attitudes regarding democracy indicate that they maintain high levels of adherence to democratic values and principles, yet are increasingly dissatisfied with the functioning of democracy.
The focus of this research is on citizens’ perceptions of the functioning of democracy, in both a comparative and longitudinal perspective.
With over 40 years since the Revolution of the 25th April 1974, it is important to understand what are the feelings and opinions of citizens regarding Portuguese democratization. It is widely known that this date has different meanings to different individuals and, thus, we evaluate its impact from an economic, political and social standpoint, as well as the perceptions of public opinion.
This research topic aggregates studies that seek to understand how the past influences political attitudes and behavior in Portugal: does the memory of democratization impacts the way citizens view politics today? What legacy has the process of democratic transition left to present-day Portugal?
Young people constitute a social group that deserves further study, especially in the face of the economic crisis experienced by Portuguese society.
Thus, the focus of this research topic is to understand the political attitudes of Portuguese youth – in comparison to the rest of Portuguese society – when approaching subjects such as employment and employability, mobility, politics and leisure. The goal is to portray Portuguese youth’s positions regarding these dimensions of analysis, which are central to understanding both the present and the future of Portugal.
The OQD also conducts comparative and longitudinal studies on issues related to political regimes and institutions.
The Observatory seeks to situate democracy in Portugal within the larger European context, as well as to contribute to the knowledge production regarding the PALOPS political regimes.