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Empowering The State: Support for State Intervention in The Baltic States and Poland
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Att lämna makten till staten : Folkligt stöd för statliga regleringar i Baltikum och Polen (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The central question for this study is the popular perception of the state in four Eastern European countries. The democratic transition in this part of Europe has often been marked by deep mistrust towards politicians and sometimes towards the new political system as such. Among other things, the low election turnout in these countries has sometimes been quoted as a symptom of the aforementioned problems. Does lack of explicit trust towards politicians and the political system mean that the ability of the state to act as a regulator and a welfare producer is affected adversely? Is the capacity of the state to fulfill its roll as an intervening actor directly connected to this expressed trust? This study is concerned with these questions and by posing them it reaches beyond the common studies on democratization, whose main concern is the status of ’democracy’ as such. Data from the three Baltic States and Poland reveals that possible connections between citizens’ expressed trust towards the political branches of the state and their opinion on the legitimate role of the state as a regulator is probably more complex than one could expect. The given role of the state as an intervening actor in two policy areas – environmental protection and alcohol consumption – appears very much unaffected by the popular trust towards the political sphere of the state, or its lack. This constitutes a significant finding which opens new avenues into studying state legitimacy in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Abstract [sv]

Den centrala frågan för avhandlingen är synen på staten i fyra östeuropeiska länder. Övergången till demokrati i den delen av Europa har ofta kännetecknats av djup misstro mot politiker och ibland misstro mot det politiska systemet som sådant. Bland annat har lågt valdeltagande tolkats som symptom på de ovan nämnda problemen. Innebär misstron mot det politiska etablissemanget och det politiska systemet att statens handlingsfrihet som reglerande (intervenerande) aktör begränsas? Är statens förmåga att uppfylla sina funktioner som reglerare och tjänsteproducent direkt kopplat till den uttryckliga tilltron till statens politiska, demokratiska maktfördelning? Avhandlingen tar upp dessa frågor och går därmed utöver de vanliga studierna av demokratisering, där medborgarnas tilltro till demokratin brukar främst stå i fokus. Data från de tre baltiska länderna samt Polen tycks visa att ett eventuellt samband mellan medborgarnas uttryckliga tilltro till statens politiska sfär och deras uppfattning om dess rättmätiga roll som reglerare är mycket mer komplicerat än man skulle kunna förvänta sig. Statens legitima roll som den intervenerande aktören inom två policyområden – miljöskydd och som bekämpare av alkoholmissbruk – tycks ohotad i alla de undersökta länderna, oavsett medborgarnas tilltro till den politiska sfären, eller bristen därav. Detta öppnar ett nytt perspektiv på statens folkliga förankring i dessa länder och ger upphov till nya frågor när det gäller studier av statens legitimitet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 193 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 451
Keyword [en]
Legitimacy, democratic transition, institutions, political capacity, state trust
Keyword [sv]
Legitimitet, demokratisering, institutioner, politisk kapacitet, förtroende för staten
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14910ISBN: 978-91-7393-805-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14909DiVA: diva2:25547
Public defence
2008-09-19, Val, Hus Vallfarten, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2014-09-25Bibliographically approved

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Szrubka, Wojciech

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