Religion and political action in postcommunist Europe

White, S.L., Miller, B., Grodeland, A. and Oates, S. (2000) Religion and political action in postcommunist Europe. Political Studies, 48(4), pp. 681-705. (doi:10.1111/1467-9248.00278)

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Patterns of political identification in postcommunist Europe are still weakly formed. The churches, however, command high levels of confidence, in sharp contrast to political parties. Representative surveys in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine in late 1997 and early 1998 indicate high levels of confidence in the churches in three of these nations, but not in the Czech Republic for reasons that appear connected to its forced conversion to Catholicism. The religious, as in other countries, are disproportionately female, but attenders in postcommunist Europe are not more likely to be elderly or resident in the countryside. There was little difference between church attenders and national populations in attitudes to the market, NATO membership, or the current government; there were rather larger differences between the countries, with Bulgarians the most favourable to the market, NATO and pro-market parties, and Ukrainians the least favourable. A multiple regression analysis found that church attendance of itself had little effect on attitudes or party preferences in either the Czech Republic or Slovakia; it did, however, increase support for the market, for joining NATO and for pro-market parties in Bulgaria and Ukraine. The relatively modest effects of overt religiosity are likely to be helpful to the formation of a democratic political culture, although account must also be taken of a strong association between the Muslim minorities in these countries and the political parties that seek to represent their interests.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Miller, Professor William and Oates, Prof Sarah and White, Professor Stephen
Authors: White, S.L., Miller, B., Grodeland, A., and Oates, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Political Studies
ISSN (Online):1467-9248
Published Online:27 February 2002

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