Fairness matters: Social justice and political legitimacy in post-communist Europe

James R. Kluegel, David S. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We find strong support for our hypothesis that fairness matters in people's evaluations of the political systems in the post-communist states. Our measures of perceived fairness had a sizeable and significant impact on both political trust and political satisfaction across all five of our countries. And in every country the relationship between fairness evaluations and political ones held even when controlling for sociodemographic factors, pocketbook evaluations, one's evaluation of the economy as a whole, and ideological orientations, including support for both socialism and the market. These findings have wide-ranging implications for theories of justice, voting behaviour and political legitimacy, for our understanding of the transition process in the post-communist states, and for politicians striving to achieve or maintain political office in these countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-834
Number of pages22
JournalEurope - Asia Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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