Civic culture in east and west

J.G. Janmaat

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    This paper examines the nature of civic culture and the strength of civic attitudes in postcommunist and western countries. In particular, it seeks to explore the internal consistency and durability of civic culture using World Values Survey and European Values Study data. It discusses three perspectives on the strength and durability of civic attitudes in East and West, (the historical roots, the legacy of communism, and the postcommunist transition perspectives) and explores to what extent the pattern of civic attitudes in the two regions matches the predicted outcomes of these perspectives. The paper finds that the attitudes associated with civic culture do not form a coherent syndrome, neither at the individual nor at the societal level. It further finds only marginal support for the historical perspective, which accords a great degree of persistence to civic culture. It therefore concludes that civic culture is not the monolithic and durable phenomenon that some cultural theorists claim it is. © Archives Europénes de Sociology 2006.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-393
    Number of pages31
    JournalEuropean Journal of Sociology / Archives Europeennes de Sociologie
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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