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Democratic values and civic and political participation in the V4 & Ukraine Michael L. Smith, Ph.D. Institute for Social and Economic Analyses, Prague.

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Presentation on theme: "Democratic values and civic and political participation in the V4 & Ukraine Michael L. Smith, Ph.D. Institute for Social and Economic Analyses, Prague."— Presentation transcript:

1 Democratic values and civic and political participation in the V4 & Ukraine Michael L. Smith, Ph.D. Institute for Social and Economic Analyses, Prague

2 Values and behavior Why do we care about democratic consciousness? One of the reasons is that political values can can drive political behavior. Democratic attitudes are not only about what people believe, but an impact how they engage civically and politically. Other political values, such as postmaterialist values, have been linked to engagement with non-traditional forms of political participation (Inglehart 1990; Dalton 2002); postmaterialism does not simply motivate political participation, but it also embodies the values that postmaterialists strive for. My presentation will explore the relationship between democratic attitudes, as well as postmaterialism, on a variety of forms of civic and political participation in Ukraine and the Visegrad states, using the European Values Study (1990, 1999, 2008)

3 Q1. Would you say that having a democratic political system is a very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad way of governing this country? (Responses in % in EVS 2008) UkraineCzech Rep.HungaryPolandSlovakia Very good Fairly good Fairly bad Very bad Q2. Democracy may have problems but it’s better than any other form of government (Responses in % in EVS 2008) UkraineCzech Rep.HungaryPolandSlovakia Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree

4 Democracy as very good way of governing this country

5 Democracy as best form of government

6 Correlation coefficients between two democracy variables

7 Measuring postmaterialism I construct postmaterialist and materialist dummy variables (both dichotomous) based on the 4-item questions. –Ref. cat.: mixed values Inglehart (1977) himself preferred the 12-item index, but it has been criticized heavily. So, I use the more conventional “4-item index”.

8 Value orientations by country, 2009 (%)

9 Postmaterialism in the CEE,

10 Materialism in the CEE,

11 Proportion of postmaterialists by GDP per capita, 2008

12 Proportion of postmaterialists by level of democracy (Economist Democracy Index), 2008

13 % Postmaterialists and materialists who have volunteered for a civic organization, EVS 2008 While there are very few Ukrainian “postmaterialists,” those that are are over twice as likely as materialists to engage in civic voluntarism

14 % Postmaterialists and materialists who are members of a civic organization, EVS 2008 The gap between membership in civic organizations between postmaterialists and materialists is largest in Ukraine

15 % Postmaterialists and materialists who have participated in a lawful demonstration

16 % Postmaterialists and materialists who have engaged in at least one form of political participation Since some forms of political participation (e.g. boycotting) are quite rare in the CEE, the data was recoded into a dummy variable indicating whether the respondent participated in at least one form of political participation)

17 Explaining civic volunteerism in the CEE (odds ratios and significance levels for logistic regression model using explanatory variables shown ) UkraineCzech Rep.HungaryPolandSlovakia Democracy best for country Postmaterialism4.698*** Materialism *.578* Trust ***2.172** College2.034**1.499*2.275*** * Female * * Age Constant **.103***.033***.122*** Nagel. R

18 Explaining civic memberships in the CEE (odds ratios and significance levels for logistic regression model using explanatory variables shown ) UkraineCzech Rep.HungaryPolandSlovakia Democracy best for country 1.212* * Postmaterialism6.070*** Materialism *.803 Trust *1.683** College2.242***1.383*1.936***1.428*1.597* Female **.719* Age **.996 Constant.206*** ***.099***.258*** Nagel. R

19 Explaining political engagement in the CEE (odds ratios and significance levels for logistic regression model using explanatory variables shown ) UkraineCzech Rep.HungaryPolandSlovakia Democracy best for country *** *** Postmaterialism *** *** Materialism *** Trust College1.787***1.894***1.495*1.449*1.747** Female.719*.773* **1.057 Age * Constant.164***.139***.194***.191***.262*** Nagel. R

20 Conclusions Democratic attitudes do contribute to civic and political engagement, but depends on how to define those attitudes – Postmaterialism explains civic and political engagement better than more explicit questions on democratic attitudes – Respondents have to make priorities of their values Democratic attitudes can also impact voter behavior (specific candidates/parties) but that cannot be examined here What else matters? – Education is a major predictor of civic an political engagement in the Visegrad states and Ukraine – Trust matters, though not by much, and only in Poland and Slovakia Ultimately, there is a disconnect between democratic values and what we might see as healthy democratic behavior. The latter has a myriad of possible causes, which means promoting democratic behavior means focusing much more on grassroots democracy.


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