Cabinets in post-communist East-Central Europe and the Balkans: Empirical findings and research agenda
The aim of this volume is to start to providing a picture of cabinets in post-communist East-Central Europe and the Balkans. The sixteen country chapters give details of the development and the functioning of these cabinets under different political and institutional settings, coalition structures, administrative rules and leadership styles of prime ministers and presidents. What this study did show, first and foremost, was that there was a mass of available information regarding most Eastern European executives. Admittedly, we know more about the formal composition of cabinets than about their working practices. We may have some image of the leadership style of prime ministers and presidents, but little is known of the impact of this leadership style on cabinet decision-making. Yet, despite these limitations, enough information is available on the governments of the region since 1989–90 to allow for overall conclusions to be drawn, for instance on the form which cabinet government takes, on the duration in office of ministers and prime ministers, on the social background of these ministers and prime ministers or on the institutional setting under which cabinets operate. Despite the availability of this information, however, there are nonetheless hardly any comprehensive single-country studies, let alone comparative analyses on these cabinets.
The purpose of this chapter is, first, to summarise the main empirical findings from the single country studies. This will allow for conclusions to be drawn about similarities and differences between cabinets in Eastern and Western Europe. Second, it will be possible to elaborate an agenda for further comparative research on cabinets in Eastern Europe, while bearing in mind the cabinet studies which have been conducted in Western Europe.