What is a democracy? Why do we form democratic systems? Can democracy survive in an age of distrust and polarization?

The Psychology of Democracy explains the psychological underpinnings behind why people engage with and participate in politics. Covering the influence that political campaigns and media play, the book analyses topical and real-world political events including the Arab Spring, Brexit, Black Lives Matter, the US 2020 elections and the Covid-19 pandemic. Lilleker and Ozgul take the reader on a journey to explore the cognitive processes at play when engaging with a political news item all the way through to taking to the streets to protest government policy and action.

In an age of post-truth and populism, The Psychology of Democracy shows us how a strong and healthy democracy depends upon the feelings and emotions of its citizens, from trust, belonging, empowerment and representation, as much as on electoral processes.

Chapter 1

The Emotional Citizen

Chapter 2

Processing Political Communication

Chapter 3

Thinking About Politics

Chapter 4

Political Participation

Chapter 5

Understanding the Psychology of Contemporary Democracies