A quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its demise still has ramifications for public opinion across the postcommunist world. Using surveys conducted in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, we show that nostalgia for communism is both widespread and persistent. Across all three countries, nostalgia is concentrated among the old and less well-off and, not surprisingly, among those with Communist Party connections. Social networks and travel to other countries is relatively unimportant in shaping views of the communist past. However, despite these widespread feelings of nostalgia, they have implications for contemporary political opinions only in Belarus. Overall, the results suggest that regret for the demise of the Soviet Union will remain in postcommunist societies for some time.
E. Gaidar, “Chastnaya Sobstvennost’ – Novyi Stereotip”, Moskovskie novosti41, 8 October (1989): 11; Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman, Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia (Cambridge, Mass: mit, 2000).
Marshall I. Goldman, The Piratization of Russia: Russian Reform Goes Awry (London: Routledge, 2003). Gorbachev, Naedine s Soboi, 602 also argued that another factor was the failure in the ‘transformation of the cpsu into a democratic party of a contemporary type’. Reform of the party had been blocked by the nomenklatura until as late as the summer of 1991, when it was agreed that a congress would be held in November at which a new program of a broadly social democratic character would have been adopted. The coup in August, and then the agreement to dissolve the ussr itself in early December, had prevented this outcome and with it any prospect of a new union treaty.
William Mishler and Richard Rose, “Generation, Age, and Time: The Dynamics of Political Learning during Russia’s Transformation”, American Journal of Political Science51, no. 4 (2007); Rose, Mishler and Munro, Russia Transformed.
Theodore P. Gerber, “Membership Benefits or Selection Effects? Why Former Communist Party Members Do Better in Post-Soviet Russia”, Social Science Research29, no. 1 (2000); Ian McAllister and Stephen White, “The Legacy of the Nomenklatura: Economic Privilege in Postcommunist Russia”, Coexistence 32, no. 3 (1995); Stephen White and Ian McAllister, “The cpsu and its Members: Between Communism and Postcommunism”, British Journal of Political Science 26, no. 1 (1996).
Mitja Velikonja, “Lost in Transition: Nostalgia for Socialism in Post-Socialist Countries”, East European Politics & Societies23, no. 4 (2009). See also Moonyoung Lee, “Nostalgia as a Feature of ‘Glocalisation’ of the Past in Post-Soviet Russia”, Post Soviet Affairs 27, no. 2 (2011).