Political involvement in transition: Who participated in Central and Eastern Europe?

Document Type


Publication Date



Using surveys conducted in 1991, we find that western individual-level models of participation also largely apply to Eastern Europe during the early transition. In the post-communist states, we find that youth, experienced political injustice, post-materialism and anti-socialist beliefs were important determinants of political protest participation and party sympathy, but not of the decision to vote in the first elections. This may have contributed to divisions in these countries such that elites promoted market-oriented reforms, and the public responded with "left-turns" in subsequent elections.