This book reveals the diverse worlds of history, civic culture, and values in South Africa, South Korea, Chile, Poland, Turkey, Germany, and Sweden. It explores the similarities and differences between the values of the elites and the ordinary people to see how well democracy works in each of these countries, and how old and new democracies compare with each other. The study is based on analyses of value orientations of the parliamentary and media elites and those of the ordinary citizens, obtained from conducted research surveys. The first part of the book considers the quality of democracy in the context of the historical and cultural heritage of the seven countries, their civic culture and notions of citizenship, and their constitutions as foundations of the democratic political order. The second part assesses the quality of democracy by means of comparative analyses of the convergence and divergence in value orientations of the elites and the masses, both within each case and across all the seven cases. Written from various disciplinary perspectives and offering both empirical evidence and insiders' knowledge, Democracy under Scrutiny will be of interest to a wide variety of readers.