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Democracy and Its Alternatives By Richard Rose

Democracy and Its Alternatives
by Richard Rose

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The collapse of Communism has created the opportunity for democracy to spread from Prague to the Baltic and Black Seas. The authors of this text examine evidence from public opinion polls, election results and interviews to explore whether democracy will be accepted in Central Europe.
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Democracy and Its Alternatives Summary

Democracy and Its Alternatives: Understanding Post-communist Societies by Richard Rose

The collapse of Communism has created the opportunity for democracy to spread from Prague to the Baltic and Black Seas. But the alternatives - dictatorship or totalitarian rule - are more in keeping with the traditions of Central Europe. For many post-Communist societies, democracy has come to be associated with inflation, unemployment, crime and corruption. Is it still true then, as Winston Churchill suggested in the 1940s, that people will accept democracy with all its faults because it is better than anything else? To find out, the authors of this study examine evidence from post-Communist societies in eastern Europe. Drawing on data from public opinion and exit polls, election results and interviews, they present testable hypotheses regarding regime change, consolidation and prospects for stabilization. They point out that the abrupt transition to democracy in post-Communist countries is normal; gradual evolution in the Anglo-American way is the exception to the rule. The volume offers a look at the process underway in nine eastern European countries: the Czech Republic; Hungary; Slovakia; Poland; Slovenia; Bulgaria; Romania; Belarus; and Ukraine. Despite the many problems these post-Communist societies are experiencing in making the transition to a more open and democratic polity, the authors conclude that a little democracy is better than no democracy at all.

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Democracy and Its Alternatives Reviews

"No challenge is more important to the democratic stability after the transition than building public support for democracy, and no recent study better illuminates the determinants of that support than this engaging, pathbreaking, and methodologically innovative book. Employing the same probing questions across nine countries in post- Communist Europe, Rose, Mishler, and Haerpfer challenge much conventional wisdom. Political learning, they show, occurs through a lifelong process of trial and error, and the political performance of a new democracy may be even more important than economic performance in leading people to support democracy, not necessarily as an ideal system but (in Churchill's sense) as better than any conceivable alternative. This is not just a book for specialists in public opinion or post-communist states. It should be read by anyone concerned with the fate of the new democracies of the 'third wave'."--Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution "After the fall of the Berlin Wall, we need to understand what is happening in the post-Communist world. This book joins theory and a unique wealth of survey data from countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. There is no more timely book on democracy." Juan J. Linz, Yale University "What makes people living under post-Communism 'buy' liberal democracy and reject its authoritarian alternatives? Starting with an original reading of Schumpeter and Churchill, Rose and his co-authors offer a number of fresh answers based on comparative survey analysis. The overall optimistic answer is that Central East European democracy is well on its way to completion and that this holds true even in the absence of economic miracles...A must for students of post-Communist societies." Claus Offe, Humboldt University, Berlin

About Richard Rose

Richard Rose is director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. His many books include 'Understanding Big Government, Ordinary People in Public Policy,' and 'What is Europe?' William Mishler is professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Arizona. He is the author of 'Political Representation in Canada' and co-author of 'Controversies in the Political Economy.' Christian Haerpfer is scientific director of the Paul Lazarsfeld Society for Social Research, Vienna.

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Democracy and Its Alternatives: Understanding Post-communist Societies by Richard Rose
Richard Rose
Used - Very Good
Johns Hopkins University Press
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