Still a Theoretical Fantasy: Josip Županov’s Egalitarian Syndrome

Original scientific paper

Danijela Dolenec ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb
Daniela Širinić ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (533 KB) pages 7-42 cite

In this article we analyse Štulhofer and Burić’s empirical hommage (2015, 2016) to Županov’s egalitarian syndrome theory (EST). We show that the authors neglect fundamental steps in research design, including the imperative of situating their argument within the existing research on the topic. Furthermore, the authors fail to fully acknowledge the implications of the multidimensionality of EST, both in their conceptualisation and in their choice of statistical analyses. We show why the data that they use are not appropriate for the analyses that they undertake. In contrast to that, in our comparative analysis of income inequality preferences across countries Croatian citizens turn out to be quite average. Citizens of Germany or Switzerland seem to be more strongly oriented towards income equality (“uravnilovka”) than citizens of Croatia. These findings clearly challenge interpretations according to which preferences for greater income equality are remnants of a socialist past, or those according to which such demands pose obstacles to societal development. Taking all this on board, we conclude that the egalitarian syndrome theory remains a theoretical fantasy.

egalitarian syndrome theory; modernization theory; research design; income inequality; Croatia

Hrčak ID: 206598