The Democracy Barometers (Part I): Learning to Support New Regimes in Europe

Issue Date July 2007
Volume 18
Issue 3
Page Numbers 111-125
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Using New Europe Barometer public opinion surveys from 13 postcommunist countries, this article shows that with the passage of time citizens in undemocratic as well as democratic regimes tend to accept their political system; however, they do so for different reasons. Democratic regimes can gain positive support from reform-minded democrats and those who reject undemocratic alternatives. By contrast, undemocratic regimes depend more on resigned acceptance from citizens who do not think there is any alternative, thus, for better or worse, making their new regime the only game in town.