Alexi Gugushvili: Social origins of support for democracy: a study of intergenerational mobility
Published in International Review of Sociology, 2020
Recent evidence suggests that popular disaffection with liberal-democratic norms and institutions has been growing in different regions of the world, but studying the social origins of democratic versus authoritarian political preferences are especially relevant in countries with immature democratic practices. The main concern of this article is the association between intergenerational social mobility and support for democracy in post-socialist societies. I present a theoretical framework in which individuals’ political attitudes are affected by their intergenerational social mobility experiences. I model this theoretical argument using two complementary data-sets and various multivariable and multilevel statistical techniques. The results indicate that intergenerational social mobility, particularly its subjective perception, has statistically significant links with attitudes towards democracy and that this association is moderated by the attained level of democracy in the country where an individual resides. This may suggest that studying social origins of support for democracy by means of intergenerational social mobility can be an important tool to understand the conundrum of democratisation and democratic backsliding in post-socialist societies.