Political Trust and Historical Legacy: The Effect of Varieties of Socialism

Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, Eszter Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article, unlike the vast existing literature on political trust, focuses on trust in post-socialist countries and, more specifically, on trust of young people rather than on trust of general populations. Studying young people is important in the context of establishing democracy and the survival of democracy. The authors examine the continuous effect of socialism and stipulate that the legacy of the type of socialist regime is a major determinant of political trust in Central and Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries. Utilizing individual-level data from an institutional survey, the authors find that distinguishing between different types of socialism is instrumental in explaining political trust. Results on the former Yugoslavia, however, suggest that the effects of socialism might be temporarily overshadowed in the short run by drastic post-socialist events such as warfare. The findings have implications for policies aimed at fostering political trust in post-socialist countries and for discerning future patterns of political and social developments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-228
JournalEast European Politics and Societies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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