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Post-Communist Democracies in Decline? Estonia and Poland Compared (11.2022)
After what seemed to be a triumphal return to democracy for so many countries of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989, the past decade witnessed a backlash involving both democratic attitudes and governance in the region. This chapter offers a paired comparison of Estonia and Poland as examples of a more resilient and a more marred democracy, respectively. The analysis first traces the two countries’ democratic development since 2005 using Nations in Transit and Varieties of Democracy datasets, which indicate areas where democratic governance has particularly declined in Poland. Thereafter, the study turns to attitudinal indicators, showing that satisfaction with democracy increased just as democratic institutions have begun to be undermined by populist political forces. This chapter, along with many others in this volume, makes a methodological contribution by juxtaposing institutional and attitudinal data in the analysis of democratic development, something increasingly called for in the literature.
From the publisher's website.