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SPP 223

Author: Ian McAllister, U. of New South Wales & Stephen White, U. of Glasgow
Description: The collapse of communism in Russia and the process of democratisation raise questions about political participation in the postcommunist era. Using Russian survey data collected in early 1992, we analyse the nature of political participation and the potential for mass political action. The results show that while voting and activism are similar to the established democracies, abstention and withdrawal are associated with political disaffection from the regime. The potential for mass political action is based on economic dissatisfaction. The strong link between the likelihood of protest and economic dissatisfaction, coupled with the widespread popular sympathies that remain for the old Soviet regime, represent one of the greatest obstacles to the consolidation of a democratic political system in postcommunist Russia.

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