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The Structure of Political Attitudes in Hungary and Serbia

Written by Bojan Todosijević, this article appeared on the fourth issue of Vol. 22 of East European Politics & Societies in the fall of 2008.
 
The article presents a comparative examination of the structure of political ideology in two post-communist countries, Serbia and Hungary. A broad set of indicators of specific political attitudes is reduced to a smaller number of latent ideological dimensions via factor analysis. The precise meaning of the dimensions is determined after the analysis of their relationships with authoritarianism, out-group sympathy, prejudices, ideological self-identification, party-preference, and socio-demographic variables.
 
Hungarian mass attitudes vary along dimensions of (1) alienation–socialism and (2) nationalist–antisocialism. Results for Serbia revealed the convergence of nationalist and pro-communist attitudes into a single dimension while another factor joined egalitarianism with social alienation.

In both countries, authoritarianism is an important determinant of ideological dimensions, especially of pro-communist nationalism in Serbia and alienation– socialism in Hungary. Socio-demographic background variables are weaker determinants of ideological dimensions in Serbia compared with Hungary. In both countries, attitudinal factors differentiate supporters of the main political parties.

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