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SPP 441

Author: William Mishler and Richard Rose
Description: Research on the political economy of popular support for new regimes has been limited by two important assumptions: economic exogeneity and causal heterogeneity. The relationship between support for economic and political regimes is treated as a ‘one-way street’ in which economic evaluations shape political support but reciprocal influences are ignored. Moreover, the relation between evaluations of the new economic and political regimes is assumed to be constant over space and time without regard to differences in national and temporal contexts. Our multi-level models integrate individual survey data from 13 post-Communist countries across the first 15 years of the transition with aggregate data on national institutions and political and economic performance. The results contradict both assumptions. While the importance of economic assessments on support for new political regimes is confirmed, the reciprocal effect of political evaluations on acceptance of new economic regimes is at least as strong. Moreover, the reciprocal effects are substantially mediated by national economic conditions and the institutions of regimes. The results demonstrate the limits of single level, deterministic models and confirm that politics and economics interact in an environment that is multifaceted, multilevel and contextual.

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