Shifts in Support for Authoritarianism and Democracy in the Western Balkans

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Abstract

The countries of the Western Balkans have experienced more than a decade of democratic backsliding. Analysis of survey results revealed that these trends were accompanied also by substantial changes in citizens’ political attitudes. The support for a strong political leader has noticeably increased, while support for democracy has suffered a substantial decline. The results suggest that these tendencies can better be explained by the economic insecurity thesis than by the cultural backlash thesis. The analysis also revealed that the support for a strong leader has become increasingly compatible with the general support for democracy.

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Lavrič, M., & Bieber, F. (2021). Shifts in Support for Authoritarianism and Democracy in the Western Balkans. Problems of Post-Communism, 68(1), 17–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2020.1757468

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