A sometimes heated debate between authoritarianism researchers takes place on the issue of authoritarianism on the left. Some researchers argue that authoritarianism is typical for right-wing political orientation while other researchers assert that authoritarianism can also be found at the left side of the political spectrum. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we aim to contribute to the ongoing discussion on left-wing authoritarianism. Using representative samples, the relationship between authoritarianism and political preferences is examined in 13 ex-communist Eastern European countries. Employing six different indicators of left-wing/communist political orientations make clear that, despite cross-national differences, left-wing authoritarianism is definitely not a myth in Eastern European countries. Second, it was aimed to survey whether authoritarian persons in Eastern European countries might be a possible threat for the transition to democracy. Based upon five items it was demonstrated that in general the Eastern European population seems to hold a positive opinion on democracy. However, it becomes also clear that authoritarian persons in the ex-communist countries are significantly less positive towards democracy.
Left-wing authoritarianism is not a myth, but a worrisome reality. Evidence from 13 Eastern European countries
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Sabrina de Regt, Dimitri Mortelmans, Tim Smits; Left-wing authoritarianism is not a myth, but a worrisome reality. Evidence from 13 Eastern European countries. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 December 2011; 44 (4): 299–308. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2011.10.006
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