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SPP 286

Author: Richard Rose and William Mishler
Description: To understand party identification in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, we need to give equal attention to negative and positive partisanship. The first section presents survey evidence from four post-Communist countries--Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia--about the level of both positive and negative partisanship. The second section combines the evidence into a fourfold typology of open, closed, apathetic and negative partisans. Given that an absolute majority are negative partisans, the third section explores two different types of negative partisanship: rejection of ideologically polarizing parties, whether Communist, right-wing, radical reformist or religious, as against rejecting parties appealing exclusively to a limited segment of the electorate, such as a minority ethnic group or farmers. The conclusion considers the dynamic question: are post-Communist citizens more likely to move from negative to positive partisanship or become knowledgeable skeptics?

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