Although coming of age under a totalitarian regime drastically reduces the chances of acquiring democratic values or supporting democracy, factors other than the formal nature of the political regime shape political values as well. The informal structure of the political regime, which consists of rules developed in political practice and economic and human development, may shape individual values and attitudes and produce different attitudes towards democracy in different totalitarian regimes. This article focuses on the effect of early socialization on the support for democracy among citizens who have been ruled under two different non-democratic regimes. We compare the dynamics in Spain and Romania during the post-totalitarian period with the aim of identifying how coming of age operated in these two different totalitarian regimes and how each type of non-democratic regime affected the legitimacy of the new democratic rule. Using survey data from various sources (Standard Eurobarometer, Central and Eastern Eurobarometer and Candidate Countries Eurobarometer) that allow both longitudinal and cross-sectional comparisons, we decompose the social change in support for democracy over the post-totalitarian period in both countries using cross-classified fixed effects models. The analyses demonstrate the different effects of socialization on support for democracy in these two different totalitarian contexts.
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