Attitudes Towards the West, Democracy, and the Market

Stephen Whitefield and Geoffrey Evans

in Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244096
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600371 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Attitudes Towards the West, Democracy, and the Market

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Addresses issues concerning attitudes towards the West, democracy, and the market. The first one is the extent of Western involvement and influence in the transformation as against internal and domestic forces. The second is the extent to which elite views of the West—and their commitment to transition—have persisted in the face of the transition experience itself, including the success or failure of the market and the integration of the post‐communist state in Western economic and military structures. The chapter concentrates on the stance taken by mass publics of Eastern Europe, and, in particular, on their attitudes towards key aspects of the transition and the ways in which these are linked with their views of Western involvement. The chapter advances three propositions: (1) democratization as an exit from communism made it highly likely that the economic correlate would be the market rather than state economic control; and vice versa; (2) the geographical location of the communist bloc and the nature of its political, strategic, and economic rivalries made it likely that this exit would entail a shift to the West; (3) those most in favour of transition and most opposed to the communist order were more likely to wish to be become part of the West and its democratic and market structures. The chapter addresses those arguments by testing six hypotheses using data of national probability samples of the populations of Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

Keywords: attitudes; democracy; democratization; Eastern Europe; elites; market; mass public; post‐communist states; post‐communist transition; West

Chapter.  8339 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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