The central empirical puzzle addressed in this book is why are Czech citizens’ attitudes towards key facets of democracy so similar under socialist democracy in 1968 and liberal democracy in 2008? Examining unique survey datasets from the late 1960s and 2008 this book reveals that Czech and Slovak citizens’ political attitudes can justifiably be characterised in terms of stability. This stability may be understood as a general feature of citizens’ relationship with democratic values and their implementation in regimes that adopt competing adjectives. The author argues that there is a continuity between the communist and post-communist periods and that the fall of communism only makes sense if citizens had democratic attitudes in 1989 and 1990. During the transition process of the 1990s, citizens in the Czech Republic learned about the operation of democratic institutions and mechanisms, rather than core democratic principles such as pluralism, citizen activism, voicing opinions and toleration. The central reason, why citizens understood and accepted such values is that the same reservoir of principles underpins different forms of democracy regardless of adjectives such as socialist or liberal.
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