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.
Examining the movement by region and then by country, he describes the appearance and evolution of the Maoist Communist parties throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Ociania. An important resource for all scholars and researchers involved with the history of communism.
In order to make a comparative assessment of the EU on democracies, the book features detailed case studies according to their different status vis-à-vis the EU, including older new member states: Poland and Hungary; newer new member states: Romania and Bulgaria; potential candidates: Albania and Serbia; and neighbour and remote neighbour states: Ukraine and Armenia. Each chapter addresses a range of dimensions and most relevant domains of inter-institutional accountability, that is: executive-legislative relationships; constitutional justice; decentralisation and regionalism; and the role of ombudsman or other relevant authorities.
Seeking to assess how important the role of the EU has been in influencing the modes and characteristic of democracies and fundamental rights established in these regions, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, EU politics, Post-communist studies and democratization studies.
Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly.
Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.
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.
Why do governments underspend on policies that would make their constituents better off? Why do people participate in contentious politics when they could reap benefits if they were to abstain? In Envy in Politics, Gwyneth McClendon contends that if we want to understand these and other forms of puzzling political behavior, we should pay attention to envy, spite, and the pursuit of admiration--all manifestations of our desire to maintain or enhance our status within groups. Drawing together insights from political philosophy, behavioral economics, psychology, and anthropology, McClendon explores how and under what conditions status motivations influence politics.
Through surveys, case studies, interviews, and an experiment, McClendon argues that when concerns about in-group status are unmanaged by social conventions or are explicitly primed by elites, status motivations can become drivers of public opinion and political participation. McClendon focuses on the United States and South Africa—two countries that provide tough tests for her arguments while also demonstrating that the arguments apply in different contexts.
From debates over redistribution to the mobilization of collective action, Envy in Politics presents the first theoretical and empirical investigation of the connection between status motivations and political behavior.
Considering the trajectories of individual states between 1990 – 2007, this book challenges two central bodies of theory relating to democratization and regime change. Through a sustained analysis of global and post-communist developments within this time period, the author shows that claims of an increasing asymmetry between the ‘electoral’ and ‘liberal’ elements of modern democracy have been greatly exaggerated. The author goes on to contend that in accounting for the geographical dispersion of post-communist regime forms, deeper structural factors should be considered as crucial. The book is divided into the following parts:
Part I demonstrates how different conceptualisations of democracy can lead to very different conclusions about the empirical dynamics of democratization.
Part II contrasts different explanations of post-communist political change and provides an integrated framework for explaining the political pathways encountered within the former Eastern Bloc.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of post-communist studies, democratization studies, comparative politics and regime change.