The perils of political competition: explaining participation and trust in political parties in Eastern Europe Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Ceka, Besir
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This thesis investigates the determinants of conventional political participation such as voting, contacting officials and attending political meetings in Eastern Europe. The central argument of this paper is that, in postcommunist Europe, vibrant and robust political competition has stifled direct political participation of the citizens. To make this case, I analyze survey data to identify the individual and country level factors that determine the likelihood of political participation at the individual level. The results point in one direction: the postcommunist polities that saw vibrant political competition in their electoral arenas also witnessed the highest levels of disillusionment with political parties and, consequently, with the political system. Decades of monopolization of the electoral arena by communist parties left Eastern Europeans ill prepared to appreciate vigorous political competition, which, depending on the intensity of the competition, tended to depress trust in political parties as an institution and, consequently, stifled political participation.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in the Department of Political Science."
  • Vachudová, Milada Anna
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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