The article focuses on the differences in political participation among post-communist countries. First, it explores the variation in the level of political participation among post-communist states. Second, it deals with the differences in the determinants that account for political participation in individual countries. The second objective is met by introducing a three-dimensional explanatory model of political participation: individual resources, motivations, and social networks. In an empirical analysis political participation in nine post-communist countries is examined using data from the International Social Survey Programme 2004. Results show that the countries under study vary in the level of political participation both at the aggregate and individual levels. The most active citizens are in the former East Germany and Slovakia. Polish and Hungarian citizens participate in politics the least. Further, two modes of political participation - protest activity and contacting - are identified and used as dependent variables in further analysis. In the second part of the article, the explanatory model is tested against data from individual countries. The analysis shows that there is a difference in the factors that account for political participation in various post-communist countries. Generally, the three-level model of political participation works best in Hungary, Bulgaria, and East Germany. It explains very little variation in Russia and Poland.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.