Russian Attitudes Toward the West
In the late 1980s, the vast majority of Russians supported pro-Western economic and political transformation. Although transition to market and democracy has eventually delivered economic benefits, most Russians are now skeptical about Western economic and political values. In this article we use polls and microeconomic data to understand what determines Russians’ attitudes to the US, the West, private property, market, democracy, etc. The negative attitudes to the Western values are strikingly uniform across economic and social strata – and across time. The negative sentiment towards the West has increased over the last four years, but the change is not substantial. While the oldest and the youngest Russians are more anti-Western than those in their 30s and 40s, all age cohorts are quite negative. On a more positive note, while most Russians do dislike the West, many of them do practice Western pragmatism in their everyday economic lives.
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