The Yellow Vests movement has aroused a debate on the democratic aspirations of citizens in France. This recent contextual element sheds light on scientific controversies concerning the sources of political disaffection in the citizens of contemporary societies. It is on these sources that we have conducted a qualitative survey using focus groups in 2014-2015. Reproducing parts of the research protocol developed by John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse (2002) in the United States in Stealth Democracy, we show that citizens’ perceptions of democracy are highly dependent on their social class, levels of commitment, and political orientations. Although our focus groups show a deep dissatisfaction with the democratic system, as well as a severe criticism of elites and political parties, representative democracy appears as a permanent horizon to which the citizens resign themselves.
- political disaffection
- focus groups