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SPP 214

Author: William Mishler, U. of South Carolina & Richard Rose, CSPP
Description: Broad-based popular support is a necessary condition for the survival and effective functioning of democratic regimes. This research analyzes the levels and trajectories of popular support for Communist and post-Communist regimes in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. On average, there has been a rise in support for the new political regime by comparison with the old, but a fall in popular support for the new economic system by comparison with a planned economy. Economic expectations far more important than social structure characteristics as influences upon support for the new political and economic regimes. Because the majority of East Europeans expect future economic conditions to improve rapidly, there is an even higher level of support for what the new regime is expected to become in five years time. The conclusion makes some "bounded speculations" about the future trajectory of support. Even on "worst case" assumptions, levels of support for the new regimes in Eastern Europe should remain positive.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland