Mass perceptions of elite democratic discourse in Eurasian countries
The reversion of many post-communist countries to some type of authoritarian regime puts into question the effectiveness of democracy promotion policies carried out by the international community. This study assumes that the divergence between a democratic perception and an authoritarian reality may be somehow responsible for such a failure. This is so because the gap between reality and perceptions of democracy may lead to the population inactions towards demanding democracy. Assuming that individuals perceive their regimes as a democracy or not based on the sources of political information and their personal characteristics, this project examines the effects of communications systems, such as the media and interpersonal discussions, in generating that gap. The main question guiding this paper is what may be determining a perception of democracy in countries where liberal democracy is not a reality. This work explores the effects of state or political elite controlled media and interpersonal discussions variables on the perceptions of democracy. The perceptions gap is examined in four post Communist countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Tajikistan. It applies a logistic regression model controlling for demographic characteristics and employs the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) databases of 2004 to test the main hypotheses. Although many studies have stated the importance of an open and independent media for democracy, no study has shown quantitatively the relationship between controlled media and individuals' perceptions. The results suggest that part of an individual's perception are determined mainly by cognitive characteristics such as the evaluation of the current economic situation an individual has and most of all the levels of trust an individual has on the political institutions. This study suggests that new policies in democracy promotion should take into account these limitations to their current policies if they are to be effective in generating a greater demand for democracy from the bottom-up.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Mapes, Gwynne Erin (Georgetown University, 2015)As Johnston and Baumann (2010) note, "Most everyday food choices both reflect and reproduce societal power divisions of economic and cultural capital" (128); in this sense, food practices can be seen as markers of social ...