Communism's Shadow

Princeton Studies in Political Behavior

Book 3
Princeton University Press
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It has long been assumed that the historical legacy of Soviet Communism would have an important effect on post-communist states. However, prior research has focused primarily on the institutional legacy of communism. Communism's Shadow instead turns the focus to the individuals who inhabit post-communist countries, presenting a rigorous assessment of the legacy of communism on political attitudes.

Post-communist citizens hold political, economic, and social opinions that consistently differ from individuals in other countries. Grigore Pop-Eleches and Joshua Tucker introduce two distinct frameworks to explain these differences, the first of which focuses on the effects of living in a post-communist country, and the second on living through communism. Drawing on large-scale research encompassing post-communist states and other countries around the globe, the authors demonstrate that living through communism has a clear, consistent influence on why citizens in post-communist countries are, on average, less supportive of democracy and markets and more supportive of state-provided social welfare. The longer citizens have lived through communism, especially as adults, the greater their support for beliefs associated with communist ideology—the one exception being opinions regarding gender equality.

A thorough and nuanced examination of communist legacies' lasting influence on public opinion, Communism's Shadow highlights the ways in which political beliefs can outlast institutional regimes.

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About the author

Grigore Pop-Eleches is professor of politics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He is the author of From Economic Crisis to Reform. Joshua A. Tucker is professor of politics and (by courtesy) Russian and Slavic studies and data science at New York University. He is the author of Regional Economic Voting: Russia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, 1990–1999.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
May 9, 2017
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9781400887828
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Grigore Pop-Eleches explains that the IMF's response to economic crises reflects the changing priorities of large IMF member countries. He argues that the IMF gives greater attention and favorable treatment to economic crises when they occur in economically or politically important countries. The book also shows how during the neoliberal consensus of the 1990s, economic crises triggered IMF-style reforms from governments across the ideological spectrum and how these reforms were broadly compatible with democratic politics. By contrast, during the Latin American debt crisis, the contentious politics of IMF programs reflected the ideological rivalries of the Cold War. Economic crises triggered ideologically divergent domestic policy responses and democracy was often at odds with economic adjustment. The author demonstrates that an economic crisis triggers neoliberal economic reforms only when the government and the IMF agree about the roots and severity of the crisis.

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