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SPP 234

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP & Ellen Carnaghan, St Louis U.
Description: This paper tests empirically the extent to which generations in Russia and ten other post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe differ in their evaluation of a Communist political regime and command economy. The paper analyzes survey data from the ten-country New Democracies Barometer and the 1994 New Russia Barometer to determine empirically whether generations in countries subject to Communist takeover differ from Russians in their opinions of the old regime. While the aggregate level of approval of the old regime varies between countries, within almost every country a similar pattern of generational differences is found: the youngest generation is least approving of the old regime. The generational effect remains when controls are introduced for education. Generational turnover, reinforced by differences in socialization due to the collapse of Communist regimes, is eroding nostalgia for a Communist past. Even among the older generations there is very limited endorsement of a reactionary return to Communist rule.

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