Dynamics of Forming and Changing Political Beliefs in Post-transitional Slovenian Society


  • Klara Jamnik University of Ljubljana


The present research aims to explore how individuals construct and change political attitudes and beliefs in the context of post-transitional Slovenian society. To understand attitude formation, political psychology highlights the role of political socialisation, where individuals learn about political culture and form their attitudes [1]. Family, friends, community, media, and global events are key factors in this process [1]. Political science adds that political context and discourses shape one's attitudes through social and political identification [2]. Research indicates that self-identification with political parties is based on political symbols rather than the content of their political program [2]. Social representation of parties and perceived intergroup dynamics also significantly influence political attitudes [2].

To bridge the approaches of political psychology and political science the current study will draw the baseline from discursive psychology which takes a perspective on psychological concepts as socially managed and manifested in language. Its view on individual phenomena is inherently interdisciplinary, challenging disciplinary boundaries between psychology, linguistics and social sciences [3]. Therefore, the individual discourses on political attitudes will be embedded in the Slovenian economical and political situation after its transition from socialism to an independent democratic state. This context has been characterised by political and economical instability since the financial crisis in 2008.

The two main research questions are: How do individuals construct and describe their political opinions ​​within the Slovenian post-transitional context? and How do individuals construct the process of change of their political attitudes within the Slovenian fragmented party arena and post-transitional political and economic contradictions?  

We will conduct interviews with 6 to 12 Slovenian citizens aged between 25 and 65 years old who have identified changes in their political beliefs. To analyse the data thematic analysis with elements of discourse analysis [3] will be used. The thematic analysis will serve as a way of eliciting answers to the research questions about the processes of formation and change of political attitudes and which are the main themes people talk about when they describe those processes [3]. Additionally, we will use elements of discursive analysis to analyse the patterns of argumentation and reasoning that participants use when they talk about their political views and their change and situate them in the main present discourses in the Slovenian political context [3]. 

The results will contribute to a holistic understanding of political attitudes and beliefs, their construction, and changes, within the Slovenian post-transitional political, social, and economical context. It will also contribute to the understanding of the Slovenian political environment and the citizens' perspective on the current state of democracy and political issues. 


[1] M. K. Jennings, "Political Socialization", in The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior, D. Russel J. and K. Hans-Dieter, Eds.,  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 29–44.

[2] S. Zschirnt, "The origins & meaning of liberal/conservative self-identifications revisited", Political Behavior, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 685–701, 2011. 

[3] S. Wiggins, Discursive psychology: Theory, Method and applications. London, UK: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017.