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.