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Description - Democracy and Its Alternatives 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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801860386
ISBN-10: 0801860385
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - 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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