Abstract

Abstract:

This study examines preferences related to democracy and their spillover effects on political trust and political participation through a social survey of Macao's university students. In contrast to conventional measurements that enquire into attitudes towards democracy in abstract terms, this study measures students' preferences related to democracy through their attitudes towards a particular political incident—the Umbrella Movement. A detailed discussion of the Umbrella Movement as a feasible and valid indicator yields the following research findings. First, students in Macao generally approve the demand for universal suffrage made by the Umbrella Movement. This can be interpreted as a preference for a minimal definition of democracy. Second, bivariate and regression analyses demonstrate that a positive correlation exists in students' support level for universal suffrage, corroborating the statement that student leaders in the Umbrella Movement were "fighting for democracy" and the importance of "living in a democratic system". Universal suffrage as an indicator empirically reflects students' attitudes towards democracy. Third, regression analyses also affirm that support for universal suffrage is a statistically significant predictor of students' political trust and political participation. The higher the support that students have for universal suffrage, the higher their likelihood of having less trust in both the Macao government and the central government, and in engaging in unconventional political participation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
0219-8614
Print ISSN
0219-7472
Pages
pp. 181-195
Launched on MUSE
2019-06-15
Open Access
No
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