Political Trust and Historical Legacy: The Effect of Varieties of Socialism

East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 206-228, 2010

Posted: 26 Apr 2010

See all articles by Eszter Simon

Eszter Simon

Central European University

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute

Date Written: April 1, 2010

Abstract

This article, unlike the vast existing literature on political trust, focuses on trust in post-socialist countries and, more specifically, on trust of young people rather than on trust of general populations. Studying young people is important in the context of establishing democracy and the survival of democracy. The authors examine the continuous effect of socialism and stipulate that the legacy of the type of socialist regime is a major determinant of political trust in Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries. Utilizing individual-level data from an institutional survey, the authors find that distinguishing between different types of socialism is instrumental in explaining political trust. Results on the former Yugoslavia, however, suggest that the effects of socialism might be temporarily overshadowed in the short run by drastic post-socialist events such as warfare. The findings have implications for policies aimed at fostering political trust in post-socialist countries and for discerning future patterns of political and social developments.

Keywords: Political Trust, Socialism, Young People, Historical Legacy

JEL Classification: O57, P20, P39

Suggested Citation

Simon, Eszter and Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina P., Political Trust and Historical Legacy: The Effect of Varieties of Socialism (April 1, 2010). East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 206-228, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1595779

Eszter Simon

Central European University ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl (Contact Author)

Virginia Military Institute ( email )

Department of Economics and Business
Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

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