In this book, a group of leading scholars analyzes the functioning of modern democracies by focusing on two basic principles: political representation and policy congruence. Drawing on recent survey data from a variety of national and international research projects, they demonstrate how political representation works and mostly leads to a fair degree of policy congruence between citizens and their representatives. They also present new insights on the sources of satisfaction with democracy and the impact of the economy on elections and political trust. This book is published on the occasion of the retirement of Jacques Thomassen as distinguished professor of political science at the University of Twente. The contributors include Russell Dalton, HansDieter Klingemann, Pippa Norris, Ola Listhaug, Hanne Marthe Narud, Jan van Deth, Peter Mair, Cees van der Eijk, Hermann Schmitt, Sren Holmberg and Rudy Andeweg. Martin Rosema, Bas Denters and Kees Aarts are affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS) at the University of Twente.