Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe - Vol. 2

Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe - Vol. 2

Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe - Vol. 2

Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This is the second volume in a two-volume series of books on democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe. The first volume focused on the issue of institutional engineering. This second volume analyses the external parameters of democratic consolidation in thirteen Eastern European countries:how different international actors and various economic, cultural and security types of transnational pressures have shaped democratic politics in the region. The aim is to contrast a set of democracy theories with empirical evidence accumulated in Eastern Europe over the last ten years. The volume tries to avoid complex debates about definitions, methods and the uses and misuses of comparative research. Instead it seeks to establish what has reallyhappened in the region, and which of the existing theories are helpful in explaining these developments. The volume is divided into two parts. The first part presents a conceptual and comparative frame of analysis, the second consists of detailed studies of individual countries undergoing democratic consolidation. Case study chapters deal with the following countries: Estonia and Latvia, Hungary,Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia, the states of former Yugoslavia, Belarus and Ukraine, and finally Russia. The concluding chapter identifies a set of variables responsible for the enormous impact of external factors on democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe. It conceptualises the interplay of internal and external factors impinging upon democracy, and shows the interplay of different positive and negative types of external pressures. It also evaluates the conscious Western effort to craft or engineer democracy in Eastern Europe.

Excerpt

This study of international and transnational pressures on post-communist countries is one of three books prepared within the Project on Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe. the European University Institute in Florence and its Research Council sponsored the project. the two other volumes in the series deal with (a) institutional engineering and (b) civil society and democratic orientations within Eastern Europe. the aim of the project is to contrast a set of democracy theories with empirical evidence accumulated in Eastern Europe over the last ten years. We try to avoid complex debates about definitions, methods, and the uses and misuses of comparative research. Instead we try to establish what has really happened in the region, and which of the existing theories have proved helpful in explaining these developments. This volume, like the others, starts with a presentation of conceptual and comparative frameworks, followed by detailed analyses of the countries undergoing democratization and democratic consolidation.

We are especially grateful to the European University Institute and its Research Council for their generous financial support and intellectual leadership. Individual members of the Research Council such as Roeland In't Veld, Pierre Hassner, Johan Olsen, Vincent Wright, and Fritz Scharpf gave us the initial encouragement to undertake this ambitious project and guided us through its successive stages.

We particularly thank Dov Lynch for his excellent editorial work on the volume, and Alexandra George who undertook the final polishing and prepared the book for publication. Remy Salters helped us to keep some chapters up to date as the speed of change in some Eastern European countries threatened to overtake the rate with which the manuscript could be prepared for publication, and Liz Webb provided valuable secretarial assistance. And, most of all we are indebted to the authors of the individual chapters, without whose knowledge and insight, effort and patience, this volume and project could not have come to fruition.

Finally, we would like to thank Dominic Byatt of Oxford University Press for his willingness to take on this large publishing project and for ensuring its smooth completion.

J. Z.

A. P.

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