Challenges To Democracies in East Central Europe

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Authors

HOLZER Jan MAREŠ Miroslav DUFEK Pavel HAVLÍK Vlastimil MOCHŤAK Michal PINKOVÁ Aneta ROBERTS Andrew Lawrence VEJVODOVÁ Petra KUPKA Petr

Year of publication 2016
Type Monograph
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Citation
Description The introductory chapter contextualises the volume in recent research on democratisation and de-democratisation. The authors review the developments during the 1990s and 2000s, from the emphasis on successful transitions to conceptualisations of democratic consolidation in East Central Europe (Beyme, Merkel) to the shift to ‘degreeism’ in assessing the quality of democracy, influenced by recent debates in normative democratic theory. The authors note that despite the wealth of literature on quality of democracy not least in ECE, there is relatively little on de-democratisation and its causes and symptoms. The chapter gives an overview of the contributions by, among others, Charles Tilly and Paul Blokker; the authors explain why the present volume takes a less common route and focuses primarily on traits and developments which, despite hovering mostly outside of the political space defined by formal democratic institutions, could or should be perceived as signs of de-democratisation. The selection of five ECE countries – namely (in alphabetical order) the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – is then justified. The authors finally emphasise that the volume does not aspire to provide a grand meta-narrative of democratic deconsolidation; rather its intended strength lies in providing sustained analytical narratives related to the democratic experience of the selected ECE countries as well as a consistent comparative focus. The introductory chapter closes by a brief overview of the contents of individual chapters.
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