What affects individual preference for different types of political regime? Is it something individual or are there external factors that influence preferences?
This paper investigates the determinants of individual preferences for democratic values and looks at differences in impact of influencing factors in states that are in transition and states that are not. It combines both individual and country-level characteristics in order to see whether they have an impact upon people's attitudes. The author finds that preferences for democracy are formed from being affected by both individual and country-level factors.
The direction of impact, however, depends upon the type of political regime they live in and the stage of economic development the country they live in is in.
Firstly, the paper concludes, the GDP per capita, inequality levels and inflation level of the country lived in positively affect personal preferences for democratic values in democratic countries and negatively in countries with an autocratic system of government. The growth of unemployment, nonetheless, decreases individual support for democracy in democratic countries and has a positive impact on support in the countries with an autocratic system of government. Such a conclusion agrees with the literature claiming that beliefs and attitudes towards political systems depend on an individual country’s past experience. Age also has a different effect in transition and non-transition economies, this additionally proving that being raised in different environments matters in terms of the formation of political preferences.
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