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SPP 409

Author: Neil Munro
Description: This paper differentiates nostalgia about the Communist past, a widespread psycho social feeling in Russia, from reaction, a desire to see it return, and from expectations of the eventual restoration of the Communist system. Using the 2005 New Russia Barometer survey, the paper explores the determinants of each of these three variables, and tests explanations based on a legacy of values inherited from the past, political and economic performance, social structure, and cognitive differences. It finds evidence that the legacy of values is the most important determinant of all three variables, taking into account both direct effects, identifiable through standard OLS techniques, and indirect effects, identifiable through a structural equation model. Thus the legacy of the Communist past persists in the political behaviour of the Russian populace, but it is a diminishing legacy because it affects attitudes to the past and present more than it affects the future.

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