Redefining the Political System of the USSR: Mass Support for Political Change

Journal Article

Using data from a national public opinion survey carried out in the Soviet Union during November and December 1989, we explore two attitudes relevant to the revolutionary changes there: (1) attitudes toward change and political democracy and (2) attitudes toward a core component of socialist ideology, the locus of responsibility for social well-being (the state or individuals?). These variables are unrelated, with the sample relatively evenly divided among the intersecting cells of a cross tabulation. While social conflict may be mitigated by the small sizes of absolutely opposing groups, consensus may also be hard to reach. Ethnicity, education, income, age, party membership, and life satisfaction have important effects on these attitudes. We discuss how attitude patterns in our data may be related to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and to problems faced by the independent successor states as they develop new institutions and foster new values.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Finifter, AW; Mickiewicz, E

Published Date

  • December 1992

Published In

  • American Political Science Review

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 04

Start / End Page

  • 857 - 874