Democracy | Wilson Center

Democracy

209. An Analysis of the Yugoslav Elections and Its Implications

In their discussion, Robert Hayden and Eric Gordy identified the main reasons for the opposition's electoral victory in the September 24 presidential elections and elaborated on potential challenges facing the new regime once in power.

186. Eastern Europe's First Post-Communist Decade: How Liberal, How Democratic?

A decade has passed since the extraordinary events that led to the collapse of the Leninist regimes of East and Central Europe. The decade has been filled by high expectations, noble dreams of justice and freedom, as well as by frustrations, neuroses, and painful disappointments. Throughout the last ten years of the twentieth century, some countries of East and Central Europe have initiated and consolidated viable democratic practices and institutions.

167. Slovakia's Elections: Outcomes and Consequences

Although opposition political parties won a decisive victory in September's parliamentary elections in Slovakia, their triumph was made possible by the country's non-political civil society. No group did more to overturn the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Meciar than the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of Slovakia's third sector. In fact, public opinion polling and surveys had indicated for more than a year that the opposition would win--if Slovakia's citizens understood what was at stake and turned out to vote.

164. Nationalism, The Kosovo Crisis, and Political Change In Serbia

The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia).

158. Dilemmas of The Political Left in Latvia

Latvia will hold its next parliamentary elections in October 1998. How will the political left fare? Given the social and economic travails of the post-Communist period (the radical drop in living standards, the plight of those on fixed incomes, the loss of status of the cultural intelligentsia), one might predict that the left would score successes. Since 1991, however, the political left has seemed almost quiescent in Latvian politics.

154. Hungary's Upcoming Elections; Political Prospects & The Economic Dimension

In May 1998, Hungary's third, free, parliamentary election will be held. Hungary's first free election in 1990 changed the political system, and the former Communists lost. In 1994, Hungarians voted for a change in the government, and the post-Communists won. This year, the major question facing voters is the composition of the next government coalition. To understand the present political situation, it is helpful to analyze the results of the recent public surveys.

152. The 1997 Parliamentary Elections In Poland: How Much DÉJA VU?

Observers of Polish Politics may feel a strong sense of déja vu. Like the historic election of 1989 which precipitated the collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe, Solidarity emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections of September 1997, a showdown between the former Communists and the Electoral Action Solidarity (AWS). The AWS, a coalition of the trade union "Solidarity" and several minor parties, won decidedly, with 33.8% of the votes and 201 of the 460 seats in the Sejm.

149. Why Some Succeed and Others Fail: Eight Years of Transition In Eastern Europe

The spectacular collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was greeted by social scientists and regional experts with considerable caution. The tasks facing the region in order to create liberal democracies and market economies seemed enormous. In the past, Eastern Europe functioned as the continent's unstable and backward periphery, and then it had been reshaped by decades of communist domination. By 1989, the region was experiencing fast economic decline. Any change was bound to be slow and difficult.

144. Bulgaria After The Elections: Reform Process Underway

Over the course of 1996, economic collapse and prolonged political malfeasance seriously shook the integrity of the Bulgarian body politic. As a result, the government of the "new democratic majority," elected in April 1997, has taken a number of extraordinary measures to recapture the confidence of the population and the international community. Top priorities for the new cabinet of Ivan Kostov have been to attempt to liquidate organized crime, to rebuild the macro-economic and the state institutional frameworks, and to aid the population, which has been battered by economic decay.

129. Polish Politics In The First Year of Aleksander Kwasniewski's Presidency

Speaking at a Noon Discussion, Krzysztof Jasiewicz reminded his audience that it was exactly fifteen years ago, on December 13, 1981, that General Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland in order to suppress Solidarity. If someone had told him then that in fifteen years Aleksander Kwasniewski would be president of Poland, Jasiewicz would have said, "Oh, sure, that's quite likely.

Pages