Studies have shown that socialization under communist rule is related to pro-authoritarian tendencies. This article argues that such tendencies are largely facilitated by “transitional legacies”—the enduring effects of life experiences following the regime change that occurred in post-communist countries. A sharp decline in socioeconomic status among the privileged class under the former regime strongly predicts anti-democratic and pro-authoritarian attitudes in the contemporary period. Conversely, those who have managed to maintain their statuses exhibit no significant opposition to democratic values. Using the data from the Life in Transition Survey (LiTS), this study demonstrates that across post-Soviet countries, the attitudes of these “losers” are remarkably consistent, irrespective of their current regime types.

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