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Communism's ShadowHistorical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes$
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Grigore Pop-Eleches and Joshua A. Tucker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175591

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175591.001.0001

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(p.99) Chapter 4 Democracy
Communism's Shadow

Grigore Pop-Eleches

Joshua A. Tucker

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the mechanisms underlying the large and temporally resilient democratic values deficit among residents of post-communist countries. While a number of pre-communist and post-communist demographic, political, and economic factors affect democratic support patterns, these features of living in a post-communist country alone cannot account for the significant democratic deficit of post-communist citizens. However, the study found very strong support for the effects of exposure to communism at the individual level: the extent of the democratic deficit increases substantially with the length of time a given individual spent living in a communist regime, even after controlling for a citizen's age. The data, therefore, strongly suggest that the legacy of living through communism contributed to anti-democratic attitudes in the post-communist period.

Keywords:   democratic values, post-communist countries, democratic support, democratic deficit, communist regime, anti-democratic attitudes, exposure, post-communist citizens

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