The collapse of communism has created the opportunity for democracy to spread from Prague to the Baltic and the Black seas. But the alternatives - dictatorship or totalitarian rule - are more in keeping with the traditions of Central and Eastern Europe. Will people put up with new democracies which are associated with inflation, unemployment, crime and corruption? Or will they return to some form of authoritarian regime? Half a century ago, Winston Churchill predicted that people will accept democracy with all its faults - because it is better than anything else that has ever been tried. To find out if Churchill was right, this book analyses a particular source of evidence about public opinion, the New Democracies Barometer, covering the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus and Ukraine. The authors find that there is widespread popular support for democracy compared to communism, dictatorship and military rule. People who have been denied democratic freedoms value new political rights more highly. Economic concerns are second in importance.
|Publisher:||Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated|
About the Author
William Mishler is Professor of Political Science, at the University of Arizona.
Christian Haerpfer is Scientific Director, at the Paul Lazarsfeld Society, Vienna.
Table of ContentsList of tables and figures.
Part I: Competing Claims for Popular Support: .
1. Competition between Regimes: A Problem of Supply and Demand.
2. Democracy and Undemocratic Alternatives.
3. Uncertain Dynamics of Democratization.
4. Comparing and Contrasting Post-Communist Societies.
Part II: Mass Response to Transformation:.
5. Popular Support for Competing Regimes.
6. Impact of Social Structure Old and New.
7. Political Legacies and Performance.
8. Reacting to Economic Transformation.
9. How Much do Context, Countries and Sequence Matter?.
10. Completing Democracy?.