Nations in Transit 2001-2002: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States

By Lueb, Patrick | Naval War College Review, Autumn 2003 | Go to article overview

Nations in Transit 2001-2002: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States


Lueb, Patrick, Naval War College Review


Karatnycky, Adrian, A. Motyl, and A. Schnetzer, eds. Nations in Transit 2001-2002: Civil Society, Democracy and Markets in East Central Europe and the Newly Independent States. Somerset, N.J.: Transaction, 2002. 445pp. $39.95

Nations in Transit 2001-2002 is a comprehensive fact book that examines the trends of liberalization in East Central Europe and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The editors claim the book is unique, as the "only . . . comparative study of post-Communist political and economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia." This sixth edition covers the period from November 2000 through December 2001; however, the reader will frequently find information from the 1990s.

The book covers twenty-seven nations, attempting to assess each by its level of democratization, rule of law, and economic liberalization. Each of these broad categories contains elements that provide a structure for the analysis of each nation; this analysis is conducted by one principal author, who in many cases is a native of the country in question.

The political process element in the democratization category has an explanation of the major political parties, their leadership, political agendas, and majorities in the government. Democratization also discusses civil society, focusing primarily on the functioning of nongovernmental organizations. Independent media are also covered, containing information on names, affiliation, content, and audience. This element also includes data on Internet accessibility. The final elements in the democratization category are governance and public administration. These cover the executive-branch workings of the nation, including information on political parties, national and subnational governments, and elections.

The rule-of-law category has two elements. The first is a constitutional, legislative, and judicial framework that details constitutional and judicial issues, to include the court system and human rights. The second is corruption, addressing both the amount of corruption and initiatives to correct this problem. …

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