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Panel Study of Political Values in the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1992 (ICPSR 6731)

Principal Investigator(s): Gibson, James L., Washington University; Duch, Raymond M., Russian Academy of Sciences. Institute of Sociology


This panel study sought to assess the commitment to democratic values and the rates of political participation of the Soviet mass public. Two separate surveys were conducted in 1990 and 1992 across a wide range of areas of the former Soviet Union. A total of 4,309 respondents participated in the 1992 survey, of whom 698 were panel respondents who also took part in the 1990 survey. The full 1990 survey, which included 1,551 respondents, is available as SURVEY OF SOVIET VALUES, 1990 (ICPSR 6099). Those who participated in these surveys were queried about current events, including their interest in print and broadcast media, their views on the Soviet political scene, interactions with government officials at different levels, the rights of union republics to leave the Soviet Union, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, Soviet foreign policies, and the role government should play in their lives. Other major topics included opinions about the Soviet military, chances of nuclear war, reunification of Germany, the balance of power in Europe, democratic reforms in Eastern Europe, personal rights and liberties, perestroika, appropriate national goals, the Cold War, and the Jewish influence on Russian culture. Respondents also provided assessments of their satisfaction with life, the availability of various consumer goods and services, attitudes toward various groups of people, general impressions of certain political actors and their governments, the condition of the Soviet economy and its future prospects, forms of criticism that would be tolerated if they opposed current governmental policies, assessment of a more decentralized economic system, the role of government in society, and efforts to unify the countries of Western Europe. Other questions focused on attitudes toward political parties and competition, confidence in major social institutions such as the justice system, trade unions, the church, and the armed forces, and various problems affecting respondents' families. Respondents also provided their opinions of how they felt their own lives were affected by the movement toward democracy and how it affected the lives of others. Additional questions probed for opinions on economic, social, and political change, personal rights and freedoms, participation in and contacts with political and civic organizations, interactions with family and friends to discuss important problems, tasks that the country needed to solve in the next 10 or 15 years, and the attempted coup of 1991. Self-administered questionnaires were also part of both the 1990 and 1992 surveys. Demographic information collected includes age, sex, religion, marital status, education, employment, political party and trade union membership, nationality, income, region of birth, native language, and housing.

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Study Description


Gibson, James L., and Raymond M. Duch. Panel Study of Political Values in the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1992. ICPSR06731-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06731.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06731.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-9023565 and 003652-164)
  • University of Houston. College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Russian Academy of Sciences

Scope of Study

Geographic Coverage:    Global, Soviet Union

Time Period:   

  • 1990--1992

Universe:    Adult noninstitutionalized population of the territory of the former Soviet Union as it was constituted on December 31, 1991.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Those who make use of these data should acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (SES-9023565), the Advanced Research Program (003652-164), the College of Social Sciences and the Limited Grant-in-Aid Program at the University of Houston, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Copies of all papers written on the basis of these data should be sent to James Gibson.


Sample:    Multistage, stratified, probability sample.

Data Source:

personal interviews and self-administered questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1999-11-19

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