Using secondary data from 21 post-communist countries, a map of urban–rural cleavages is produced. The findings are that while persistent cleavages exist with respect to attitudes toward the state, the market and traditional institutions, these cleavages have yet to be institutionalized within the political system. Deviations from the generalized pattern can typically be explained by the intrusion of the state-building process into the urban–rural cleavage structure. Furthermore, it is argued that the lack of institutionalization has led to a situation in which state and political elites have gained increased autonomy.

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