Democratic Transition Publications
With the collapse of state socialism in 1989, the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) had no choice but to shake off their deeply ingrained Cold War mentality and try to take their place in a world characterized by globalization and increased regional integration. Their “return to Europe,” or integration into the structures of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU), passed an important milestone in 1993, when the EU made the historic decision to enlarge eastwards and accept new members from the formerly communist countries. Accession negotiations opened in spring 1998 for "fast-track" countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia), and in February 2000 for "slow-track" countries (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania). This paper focuses on the CEE countries’ “accession perspective”—their motives, expectations, deliberations, and practical difficulties as they strive to become part of the EU’s anticipated eastward enlargement.
This essay asks whether and if so how the United States might employ new understandings of security in the management of Arctic waters issues, and in responding even more particularly to the prospect of intensified use of Russia’s Northern Sea Route.
January 1998 - 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.
This paper seeks the publics' answer to the question "transition to what?" While public opinion is only one piece of the complex mosaic necessary to understand the changes in the region, the revolutions of 1989 have certainly shown that mass publics cannot be ignored. Based on over thirty national surveys in Central and East Europe commissioned by the United States Information Agency (USIA) over the last three years, the authors examine public beliefs about the role of the individual and the state, the degree of public support for market reform, and attitudes toward ethnic rights as well as assessments of "outsiders." After consideration of each of these dimensions, they present a typology classifying countries based on public attitudes.
This book comparatively explores the obstacles countries face in sustaining and consolidating democratic systems. Topics include social services, poverty, and inequality, specific case studies, and how government policy and development practices improve the quality of life of citizens in democratic regimes.
63. Decentralization and Regionalization after Communism: Lessons from Administrative and Territorial Reform in Poland and the Czech RepublicJul 07, 2011
While the regional level of authority has gained much attention in recent years in Western Europe, Eastern Europe is still emerging from decades of centralization and homogenization under communism. Several post-communist countries, however, have taken steps toward administrative decentralization and territorial regionalization. This article explores possible reasons for taking these steps and traces the progress of administrative and territorial reform in two post-communist cases: Poland and the Czech Republic. The conclusion considers several implications of these reforms for domestic politics and foreign relations.
From 1970-2000, "only 13 percent of countries with a very young age structure had fully democratic governments, compared with 83 percent of countries with a mature age structure," says Elizabeth Leahy, who compares age structure to conflict in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Iran, and Pakistan.
December 2002- Bulgaria's post-1989 transition to a multi-party democracy and market economy, both functioning under the rule of law, has obviously been slow if judged by Hungary's exemplary standard. Ten governments and five parliaments in 12 years have hampered the political pursuit of sustained policies. The shock of a collapsing Soviet trade regime hit Bulgarian exports – one half of which had gone to the USSR – particularly hard. Legal foreign trade suffered and illegal activity mushroomed with Western sanctions against Serbia and Greece's embargo against what it still calls the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But that was the 1990s, and now in the new century, there are enough signs of progress to hope that impending NATO membership will indeed be followed before the end of the decade by EU membership.
Experience has increasingly shown that the abundance of natural resources does not necessarily produce rapid development in countries where they are found. Instead, paradoxically, they all too often produce poverty, conflict and corruption whose consequences become increasingly widespread and impact development, not only in the country in question, but more broadly in an interconnected world. The rapidly globalizing world means that these consequences transcend boundaries and threaten stability of both the developed and developing world. It is therefore common sense that a search for the reversal of this disturbing trend becomes a global collective.