WITH THE WEST:
THE TRIPLE TRANSITION
For the Czech and Slovak Republics, as for contemporary European countries generally, foreign policy looms large in state management. In the former Eastern bloc countries, the onerous tasks of domestic transformation are so interwoven with the ties that bind the postcommunist countries to their neighbors as to make it very difficult to disentangle the two. Every domestic policy decision is made with an ever-present concern over how well the decision will conform to the model of the cooperative and responsible Eurocitizen. Even the politicians who play a game of backlash politics by raising the alarm about a sellout to the West are responding to the very real pressures and incentives to seek closer European integration.
The immediate foreign policy problem of the transformation process, therefore, was to demonstrate that all the desirable domestic changes were indeed occurring--hence an almost obsessive concern with international image. "Image" is a broad term, but although it may appear to lack specific content, it is nonethe-