The New Young Masaryks? Support for Democracy and Its Principles among Czech Adolescents
This article investigates levels and predictors of support for democracy and two democratic principles (free speech and minority rights) among Czech 14- to 17-year-olds. An analysis of survey data collected in primary and secondary schools in four regions in 2014 (N = 1,959) reveals that among young Czechs general support for a democratic regime is relatively independent from more specific pro-democratic attitudes (although there is an association between general support for democracy and the abstract principle of freedom of speech). On a general level, democracy was supported by about two-thirds of adolescents in the sample. Similar or even higher levels of support were found for the two principles of democracy when presented in abstract terms. However, when these principles were presented to them in specific, less clear-cut contexts, support for them was much lower. Specifically, despite their strong support for free speech, about half of respondents supported restricting unconventional political activism. Moreover, a similar proportion of participants seemed to downplay minority rights when the majority rule was emphasised. Results of the analysis also revealed that support for different aspects of democracy was predicted by various psychological and socioeconomic factors.
Sociologický časopis, redakce, Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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