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Time matters: adapting to transformation

Rose, Richard and Mishler, William and Munro, Neil (2008) Time matters: adapting to transformation. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 24 (1). pp. 90-114.

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Abstract

In the time that has passed since the Soviet Union disappeared at the end of 1991, Russians have had to alter their behaviour or risk becoming marginalized in a post-transformation society. How and why have Russians adapted to political transformation? Evidence from a unique source, 14 New Russia Barometer (NRB) nationwide sample surveys from January 1992 to January 2005, shows that Russians differ from one another in whether or not they give support to the new regime – and their evaluations have fluctuated substantially since 1992. Because the same questions have been asked over a decade or more, it is possible to test not only the influence of economic, political and social influences on political support, but also the importance of the passage of time on how Russians adapt to their regime. The consolidation of support for a new regime, whether democratic or not, requires that individuals adapt by giving either positive support or resigned acceptance to it as a lesser evil without an expectation that it could be replaced by another system.