Political Alienation and Government-Society Relations in Post-Communist Countries
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University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2014-03-30
Polish Sociological Review 2014;185(1):3-24
On the basis of 1996 and 2006 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) data this paper explores the character of government-society relations in post-communist countries, and its dynamics. The use of comparative data and the application of Paige’s (1971) political alienation model and Woolcock’s and Narayan’s (2000) model of government-society relations allows to shed new light on citizen’s political attitudes by analysing them in the context of the overall political environment in the country. The results reveal that while citizens in most established democracies bear allegiant attitudes, citizens of post-communist countries feel alienated. Distrust of each other and of the political authorities leads to dysfunctional government-society relations. Since the time of transitional reforms people in post-communist countries have become more confident in their political capability, yet there is no general trend with regards to confidence in political authorities. Those at the margins of society often feel alienated, and dissident attitudes are on the rise, especially among youth.
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