Five Years After the Fall: Trajectories of Support for Democracy in Post‐Communist Europe

William Mishler and Richard Rose

in Critical Citizens

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295686
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600043 | DOI:
Five Years After the Fall: Trajectories of Support for Democracy in Post‐Communist Europe

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Assesses the trajectories and dynamics of public support for seven democratizing regimes in Central and Eastern Europe—Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia—during the first five years following the fall of communism. It begins by offering a reconceptualization of support for new democracies. An examination is then made of popular approval of the new regimes in 1991, shortly following the collapse of communism, and the trajectory of support is tracked through to 1995. Next, a model of the dynamics underlying these trends is developed and tested, paying particular attention to the extent to which support is contingent on political and economic performance. More generally, an exploration is made of whether and to what extent the sources of support change over time as citizens acquire experience with the new regimes.

Keywords: Bulgaria; Central Europe; Czech Republic; democratizing regimes; dynamics; Eastern Europe; economic performance; Hungary; models; newer democracies; Poland; political performance; political support; political trust; popular approval; public opinion; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; trajectories; trends

Chapter.  8908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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