The quality of democracy depends on both politicians and citizens. While most attention has focused on politicians, this paper looks at citizens. There has been some scepticism about whether the postcommunist public is prepared to rule their countries. The legacies of communism and the rigours of the transition may have produced citizens whose opinions are unstable and ill-informed and therefore a poor basis for democratic policy making. This paper tests this proposition by considering the nature of public opinion in the Czech Republic. Its main conclusion is that postcommunist public opinion is more reasonable than conventional wisdom suggests. Opinions on most policies change slowly if at all and when they do change the changes are prompted more by gradual shifts in mores than by political manipulation. This suggests that citizens in the region are prepared to have a significant voice in policy making.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics