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Technology and Social Choices in the Era of Social Transformations

Edited By Borut Rončević and Matej Makarovič

From the dawn of humanity, the dialectic relationship between technology and society has been one of the driving forces behind changes in both realms. Trends in technological developments and their applications are, ultimately, the result of individual and collective choices. At the same time, technology influences the social choices of individuals, small groups and entire societies. This book focuses on two closely related ideas: technological development and social choices. While relating them, the book shows the relationship between human individuals and their agency; social structures, both as the initial context and as resulting from human agency; and technology that has been developed and applied by human agents’ choices within social contexts.

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Three Decades of Electoral Participation Between Fragmentation and Contingency: A Survey of the Literature on Economic Voting in Eastern Europe (Dadiana Chiran)

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Dadiana Chiran

Abstract: Reaching the benchmark of three decades of democracy and over nine rounds of elections represents the end of the democratic adolescence and the beginning of maturity for post-communist democracies. By summarizing eighty-five literature entries on economic voting, this review chapter focuses on a study of voting patterns and the role the economy plays in it. A first observation is that while the Western European development of the literature on economic voting has been organic, in Eastern Europe the study of economic voting was initially part of an agenda, emphasizing whether new Eastern democracies were metabolizing democracy as expected. One cause for the limited study of economic voting is a result of the lack of systematic, comparable and time-extended data, as well as the fragmentation of the post-communist region. Whether or not economic voting is the most important factor in political decision-making remains an on-going debate, although positive evidence has been identified consistently throughout the last thirty years, particularly in Hungary, Poland and, to lesser extents, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Keywords: economic voting, CEE post-communist democracies, fragmentation, agenda-setting

Perhaps the most prominent way in which democratic accountability has been studied in Eastern Europe is via economic voting. Economic voting has been intensely applied in the field of behavioural and electoral studies, both in longitudinal and cross-sectional studies focusing on the electoral configurations of advanced democracies in which the data favour systematic long-term analysis. Already at the beginning of the 1990s,...

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