Democracy and Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe: The Democratisation of the General Public in 15 Central and Eastern European Countries, 1991-1998

Democracy and Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe: The Democratisation of the General Public in 15 Central and Eastern European Countries, 1991-1998

Democracy and Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe: The Democratisation of the General Public in 15 Central and Eastern European Countries, 1991-1998

Democracy and Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe: The Democratisation of the General Public in 15 Central and Eastern European Countries, 1991-1998

Synopsis

Democracy and Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe presents the principal findings of a unique in-depth study of the birth of democracy and the market economy in fifteen post-Communist countries. Haerpfer analyses and compares the information collected by the New Democracies Barometer public opinion surveys to provide an overview of the process of democratization across Central and Eastern Europe. This is an extremely valuable resource and will be useful for all those interested in the European Union, comparative politics and democracy and the Communist legacy. It contains data from Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Excerpt

The process of democratisation, which took place after 1989 in post-Communist Europe, is part of the ‘third wave of democratisation’ according to the terminology of Samuel Huntington (1991). This third wave of democratisation started in 1974 and took place in Portugal, Spain and somewhat later in Central and Eastern Europe, after the annus mirabilis of autumn 1989.

The literature on democratisation in general distinguishes between three different theoretical approaches (Potter et al. 1997): Potter et al. label these three approaches the ‘modernization approach’, the ‘transition approach’, and the ‘structural approach’. the theoretical ambition of this book consists of proposing a fourth approach to analyse the processes of democratisation, a theoretical concept, which I call the ‘transformation approach’. the ‘modernization approach’ is closely linked to the work of Seymour Martin Lipset during the 1960s and 1970s and is represented in the 1980s and 1990s in a very prolific way by Larry Diamond (1999). the ‘transition approach’ was developed primarily by Dankwart Rostow and is now presented very prominently by Guillermo O’Donnell and especially by Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan (Linz and Stepan 1996). the structural approach was put forward primarily by Anthony Giddens (Giddens 1993), Barrington Moore in the 1960s (Moore 1966) and by Dietrich Rueschemeyer in the 1990s (Rueschemeyer, et al. 1992).

Three central processes

The ‘transformation approach’, which is presented for the first time in this book, can be characterised by three central processes:

Process 1: democratisation towards democracy.

Process 2: marketisation towards market economy.

Process 3: creation of civil society.

The specific characteristics of the post-Communist transition consist in the fact that we are witnessing not only a political transformation from a

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