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Development of Trust in Post-Communist Societies
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||3 362|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||12.4|
|Priemerná známka:||2.99||Rýchle čítanie:||20m 40s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||31m 0s|
People did not trust the system and its’ representatives that they didn’t want. They didn’t trust ordinary strangers, because of secret police agents and their helpers. Although communist societies possessed some institutions of civil society like trade unions, writers’ guilds - these bodies, however, were purely puppets of the party state. Corruption, as we will see later, flourished everywhere.
Regime Change, Trust Change?
In 1980s, finally, came the so awaited impulse, when Mikhail Gorbachev announced his perestroika (reconstruction). This stimulus gave considerable rise to opposition civil society movements that demanded freer environment. The impossibility of reversibility of this gradual process caused the collapse of communism in the entire Second World. The third wave of democratization after the Fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 embodies the greatest shift to democracy in the worlds’ history. In Europe, seven successor states after the Soviet empire plus twelve other countries emancipated from the Russian sphere of influence started building liberal democracy almost at the same time. Some more, some less successfully, but the general enthusiasm that brought the end of communist dictatorship was present everywhere.
At first, limiting the states’ power was on the list. Censorship was abolished; freedom of speech became the human right. Boundaries were opened – people could freely travel wherever they liked. States’ institutions of the command economy had been dismantled, leaving thus space for rising living standards and civil society. These were the basic historical facts driving the transformation towards democracy in 1989 and 1990s. But how did trust develop? Do people trust the new regime, do they trust more themselves? Whom do they trust? Which people do trust more? We will try to answer these questions in the next part of the essay.
Although the concept of civil society implies a generalized trust in social and economic institutions, they are distinguished from each other and from political institutions, since most theorists think that there should be a clear distinction between the state and the self-governing, independent associations. In post-communist societies, where citizens have only seen such self-governing, independent institutions after the regime change, citizens are much less able to distinguish between civil and political institutions.