How do inclusionary and exclusionary autocracies affect ordinary people?’ (Neundorf, A., Gerschewski, J. and Olar, R.G.). Comparative Political Studies. 2020.

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We propose a distinction between inclusionary and exclusionary autocratic ruling strategies and develop novel theoretical propositions on the legacy that these strategies leave on citizens’ political attitudes once the autocratic regime broke down. Using data of 1.3 million survey respondents from 70 countries and Hierarchical Age-Period-Cohort models we estimate betweenand withincohort differences in citizens’ democratic support. We find that inclusionary regimes – with wider redistribution of socio-economic and political benefits – leave a stronger anti-democratic legacy than exclusionary regimes on the political attitudes of their citizens. Similarly, citizens who were part of the winning group in an autocracy are more critical with democracy compared to citizens who were part of discriminated groups. This paper contributes to our understanding about how autocracies affect the hearts and minds of ordinary citizens.

Dictators and Their Subjects: Authoritarian Attitudinal Effects and Legacies’ (Neundorf, A. and G. Pop-Eleches). Comparative Political Science, 2020.


This introductory essay outlines the key themes of the special issue on the long-term impact of autocracies on the political attitudes and behavior of their subjects. Here, we highlight several important areas of theoretical and empirical refinements, which can provide a more nuanced picture of the process through which authoritarian attitudinal legacies emerge and persist. First, we define the nature of attitudinal legacies and their driving mechanisms, developing a framework of competing socialization. Second, we use the competing socialization framework to explain two potential sources of heterogeneity in attitudinal and behavioral legacies: varieties of institutional features of authoritarian regimes, which affect the nature of regime socialization efforts; and variations across different subgroups of (post-)authoritarian citizens, which reflect the nature and strength of alternative socialization efforts. This new framework can help us to better understand contradictory findings in this emerging literature as well as set a new agenda for future research.

Democracy in transition: A micro perspective on system change in post-Soviet societies’ (Neundorf, A). Journal of Politics, 2010, 72(4): 1096-1108.

The role of the state in the repression and revival of religiosity in Central Eastern Europe’ (Mueller, T. and A. Neundorf). Social Forces, 2012, 91(2): 559-582.

Growing up on different sides of the Wall – A quasi-experimental test: Applying the left-right dimension to the German mass public’ (Neundorf, A.) German Politics, 2009, 18(2): 201- 225.

Working papers

The Legacy of Authoritarian Regimes on Democratic Citizenship: A global analysis of authoritarian indoctrination and repression’ (Neundorf, A., Ezrow, N., Gerschewski, J., Olar, R.G. and R. Shorrocks). Presented at MPSA, ECPR Joint Sessions, EPSA 2017.


This research addresses important and unresolved questions of democratization, by using a new methodological approach of cohort analysis to examine the lasting legacy of authoritarian dictatorships. We are conducting a comprehensive analysis of post-authoritarian countries from different parts of the world during the entire 20th century that experienced different types and durations of suppression. We show that the extent to which an authoritarian regime indoctrinates its people and represses dissent has a lasting impact on their citizens that goes beyond their existence. To test a newly developed theory of authoritarian socialization, existing survey data from numerous post-authoritarian countries is harmonized and combined with the data of Varieties of Democracy. The data is analyzed using hierarchical age, period, cohort analysis to estimate the generational differences in democratic support. The results show that there are distinct cohort differences in satisfaction with democracy that are due to the past experience of growing-up under non-democratic system. This research has important implication for understanding democratization from a micro perspective, as the legacy of authoritarian regime can undermine the development of a democratic political culture.

Political Habit Formation under Democratic and Authoritarian Elections‘ (Neundorf, A. and K. Northmore-Ball). Presented at EPSA, APSA and EPOP 2018.


This paper addresses the understudied but crucial question of how past experiences with authoritarian elections (or the lack of them) have shaped habitual voting behavior. We consider individual voter turnout in elections in democracies and autocracies between 1975 and 2015 across the entire world including Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Central & East Asia. We use newly harmonized public opinion survey data covering over 116 countries combined with Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) indicators to capture the diverse character of authoritarian elections, and we apply hierarchical age-period-cohort analysis to estimate generational differences in voter turnout. We show that indeed the opportunity to participate in elections in the formative years matters. However, the impact of these early opportunities on long-term habitual voting is conditional on the “quality” of the elections experienced. In fact, the less truly competitive early electoral experiences are, the less likely a newly eligible voter is to become a habitual voter later in life. This research has important implications not only for understanding voter turnout in new democracies but also habitual voting in general.

The long shadow of Communism: Explaining the threat to democracy in Central-Eastern Europe‘ (Neundorf, A. and S. Pardos-Prado). Presented at EPSA, APSA and EPOP 2018.


Contemporary democracies in Eastern Europe are challenged by the emergence of anti-democratic parties and a critical population. In this paper we present evidence that confirms that the the threat to democracy that we are currently witnessing is linked to the Communist past. We show that people become disillusioned with democracy because of their expectations towards the state that was instilled because of communism state protection. Here we link governmental intervention preferences to dissatisfaction with democracy and support for radical right parties. We are using cross-national data from the European Social Survey (2002-2016) to test our new theory as well as a case study of Germany to present difference-in-difference models that confirm a causal link between Communist socialization and today’s political disillusion with democracy. Our research contributes to the growing literature on legacies of authoritarian regimes by testing the mechanisms that link dictatorship with emerging populism in new democracies.

The Legacy of Gender-Unequal Regimes on Support for Women Politicians’ (Neundorf, A. and R. Shorrocks). Presented at European Conference on Politics and Gender 2017, EPOP 2017.


Growing support for women politicians is usually attributed to younger cohorts being more gender-egalitarian than older cohorts as part of a process of modernisation. However, the impact of political institutions on attitudes is not well understood. In this paper, we study the effect of gender equality in political institutions on support for women politicians from a generational perspective, hypothesising that generations which experienced greater institutional gender equality during their formative years will be more supportive of women politicians. This allows us to identify the causal relationship between institutional characteristics and attitudes by modelling current attitudes based on past institutional arrangements. We find that institutional factors play an important role in shaping attitudes towards women politicians, beyond the effect of modernisation. Furthermore, we find that both modernisation and institutional factors only lead to cohort change in support for women politicians in democratic regimes, not autocracies, indicating the importance of women politicians holding real power and being perceived as legitimate. Since public support for women politicians also in turn leads to greater women’s representation in political institutions (Paxton & Kunovich, 2003a), the findings suggest that in democracies there is a positive feedback loop between gender-egalitarian institutional arrangements and public support for women politicians.