Challenges to Democracy

Hardback

Challenges to Democracy

Eastern Europe Ten Years after the Collapse of Communism

9781840642933 Edward Elgar Publishing
Sten Berglund, Professor of Political Science, University of Örebro, Sweden, the late Frank H. Aarebrot, formerly Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, Norway, Henri Vogt, Professor of International Politics, University of Turku, Finland and Georgi Karasimeonov, formerly Professor of Political Science, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
Publication Date: 2001 ISBN: 978 1 84064 293 3 Extent: 208 pp
Drawing heavily on available survey data, the book provides an in-depth account of how the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe have coped with four major challenges: political fragmentation, nationalism, lack of respect for human rights, and poorly developed civil service systems. The book demonstrates that although the first few years of the 1990s were marked by increasing disenchantment with the new regimes, the change of governments as a direct result of the electoral process and the prospects for European integration have served to reverse this negative trend. Indeed, the authors find that the new political systems have managed to cope with the challenges so effectively that striking similarities with Western democracies are now apparent.

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The euphoria evidenced in the aftermath of the collapse of communist regimes in the late 1980s and early 1990s sometimes conveyed the impression that the process of democratization would be achieved without difficulty or tribulation. This book sets out to provide a thorough comparative analysis of the challenges which face the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and considers the impact of political change.

Drawing heavily on available survey data, the book provides an in-depth account of how the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe have coped with four major challenges: political fragmentation, nationalism, lack of respect for human rights, and poorly developed civil service systems. The book demonstrates that although the first few years of the 1990s were marked by increasing disenchantment with the new regimes, the change of governments as a direct result of the electoral process and the prospects for European integration have served to reverse this negative trend. Indeed, the authors find that the new political systems have managed to cope with the challenges so effectively that striking similarities with Western democracies are now apparent.

Offering new insights into democratic transition, Challenges to Democracy will appeal to political scientists, diplomats and policymakers, and economists with an interest in European and comparative politics.
Critical Acclaim
‘The book is written in a systematic, clear and accessible style and provides an excellent introduction to the state of democracy in contemporary postsocialist Europe. . . . Recommended for undergraduate, graduate, research, and faculty collections.’
– P. Rutland, Choice

Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Consolidation of Democracy 3. Societal Fragmentation and Post-Communist Party Politics 4. Democratization and Nationalism 5. The Challenge of Human Rights 6. Civil Society 7. Changing Perspectives on Political Challenges Index
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