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History of Communism in Europe

Volume 1, 2010

Politics of Memory in Post-communist Europe

Sergiu Gherghina
Pages 167-181
DOI: 10.7761/HCE.1.167

Attitudes towards the Communist Past in Five Central and Eastern European Countries

Almost fifteen years after the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, citizens in five of the best performing post-communist countries display willingness to return to the previous regime, share values convergent with communism, and high levels of dissatisfaction with democracy. Using a two-step statistical analysis, this article investigates at individual level whether citizens attach attitudinal and behavioral consistency to their opinions towards the past. The results indicate that people supporting communist policies are more likely to pursue the return to such a regime compared to their fellow nationals; citizens’ regret for the previous regime is not based on the ideological or policy features; and dissatisfaction with democracy has little to do if anything with the nostalgia for the communist past.