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1st- the volume of the acquis communautaire (the EU’s body of regulations and directives- in other words EU law) had increased sharply since the 1980s as a result of the introduction of the single market, and continued to increase. This meant the Central Europeans were chasing a moving target. This point demonstrates the one-sided nature of the negotiations.
2nd- applicants were required not only to transpose (add the laws to their national statute books) the acquis prior to accession, but their adequate implementation of EU rules was also to be verified by the European Commission in painstaking details. This ‘screening’ of the acquis was in fact just one small part of a much greater process referred to as conditionality
1. a niggling suspicion that the EU might never let them in at all. It did not go unnoticed that the process of negotiating enlargement took much longer for them than it had done for wealthy Austria, Sweden and Finland in the 1990s.
2. A further suspicion existed that the Commission was insisting that the then candidate countries become ‘perfect member states’ necessitating a higher level of compliance with EU regulations and directives than was the case in the old EU-15.
1. Most Central Europeans believe their country has benefited from EU membership
2. Public opinion on the EU in the new member states is varied, but appears to point towards a positive consensus
1. Enthusiasm for the EU across the region has always been rooted in the notion of EU membership as a part of a wider long term plan that would benefit their children and grandchildren
2. Enthusiasm for the European project also rooted in a strong emotional sense of a break with the miserable communist past
3. Most tangible benefit of EU membership, in the opinion of most in the region, is the freedom to travel and work freely in other member states
EU membership was a reference point for domestic politics and can be identified in 2 ways:
1. By the entry into the domestic political lexicon of the notion of ‘European standards’ as a stick with which to beat political opponents allegedly in violation of these
2. The reference point of the EU is best located in its role as a valence issue in domestic politics. If a state is to participate in the European Union, it should do so competently.
1. Accession brought full participation in nearly all aspects of EU policy for the Central Europeans
2. The Common Agricultural Policy was substantially beneficial for Central European farmers as guaranteed prices for certain agricultural products brought great profits (and higher prices for consumers)
3. Structural and development funds constituted a similarly rich vein to be mined by the Central Europeans. Poland received some 67 billion in EU funds for development assistance between 2007 and 2013.
Membership would be hugely advantageous to the new member states in economic terms
1. They are expected to have declining levels of aggregate public debt in the medium term since their economies are likely to grow quite rapidly as they converge with their wealthier Western neighbors.
Apart from Poland, the Central European countries do not have, and will probably never have, the capacity to exercise influence in the EU in the way that large, older member states such as France, Germany or the UK have done in the past
1. Still, policy successes have been won by the new member states in key areas, such as the multi-annual financial framework from 2007-2013, which provided considerable support for economic development in the form of structural, regional and development funds.
2. A second important area of success in uploading policy preferences was the field of relations with the European Union’s eastern neighbors. As a result of a joint Polish and Swedish initiative in 2008, the EU launched the so-called Eastern Partnership for its six eastern neighbors in 2009.
1. The communist states of Europe used elections to maintain and legitimate their political systems, rather than to select the political direction a country was to take
2. Elections were the object of various forms of subtle and not-so-subtle manipulation by the authorities
3. Elections were devices designed to mobilize the population and to make it complicit in the decisions of the communist parties that were in charge of making policy
4. Elections served as instruments of manipulation, popular control, and legitimation of communist rule
1. PR was associated by post-communist reformers with multi-party politics, as it institutionalizes competition between parties and strengthens partisan organization
2. PR seen as preventing backsliding into one-party politics
3. PR was first and foremost a means of shifting political competition from personalized to programmatic competition, in other words, from competition between individuals to competition between ideas.
4. The party list element of PR, rather than the proportional outcome it generates, was what attracted Central and East European reformers. It is because of this reason that non-list forms of PR or semi-PR were hardly considered.
5. PR has similarity to key elements of institutional design with those of the established democracies of Western Europe.
1. Central and East European region has experienced a dramatic decline in voter turnout for a variety of reasons having to do with socio-economic conditions, election timing, as well as other factors.
2. Following the collapse of a political system that pressured people into taking part in elections, many took advantage of their newfound freedom to abstain from politics, and once in the habit of staying home on polling day, many electors have permanently checked out of electoral politics
3. Electoral system architecture, have a parliamentary type of election, location in the former Soviet Union, higher level of development in a state, short term economic change have all been found to depress turnout.
4. Levels of satisfaction with democratic performance are lower in Central and Eastern Europe than any other region of the world
5. leader's propensity to engage in corrupt and unethical behavior, and corruption could have a ‘demobilizing’ effect
1. Voters in Central and Eastern Europe are not as loyal to political parties as their counterparts in the West
2. For Central and Eastern Europe, the communist legacy can also be counted as one of the major factors depressing Western-style party identification; skepticism with politicians of all colors meant that during the first few electoral cycles, identification against particular parties was greater than identification with them.
1. First unique feature of Central and East European voting is the ability of new or obscure ‘flash parties’ suddenly to gain large amounts of support in some countries.
2. Central and East European electorates have overall higher levels of volatility in election results, with parties’ vote shares witnessing sometimes dramatic shifts from one election to the next. Flash party successes exemplify this trend.
3. Central and Eastern Europe have a distinctive pattern visible with the role of corruption and corruption scandals in structuring both party competition and electoral behavior.
4. The attraction of many to extreme or ‘anti-system’ parties, particularly those of the far-right or populist type.
1. Differ in terms of their social background and career paths, the process by which they arrive in office, the powers that they hold, and the policies that they pursue.
2. The size, competence and ambitions of the state bureaucracy shape political executives as well.
3. Simple typologies of the political executive can be based on 2 dichotomies:
1. Effective versus ceremonial
2. Individual verses collective
1. Cabinet government- political leadership is entrusted to a prime minister and those of her colleagues who head the important departments of government
2. Presidential system- there is a single head of the political executive who is elected to office directly by voters
3. Parliamentary government- elected legislature is dominant and, paradoxically, it wrests executive power from the executive branch
1. A mix of presidential- parliamentary government has appeared the safest choice for democratic consolidation
2. Mixed presidential- parliamentary systems have produced greater rotation of leaders- presidents, prime ministers, and cabinets- than a presidential one ordinarily would
1. Backlash against communism and new public expectations: constraining experience of communism served as a catalyst for putting greater trust in representative institutions rather than strong rulers
2. Differing political traditions: a nation’s prior experience with different forms of government influenced the emergence of executive structures.
3. Actor-agent preferences: the legal experts who write a constitution and the political actors in executive and legislative branches who ratify it are the agents which determine what executive power will look like
4. International norms: the global ascendance of political liberalism and economic neoliberalism in the 1990s was simultaneously a product of communism’s defeat and a force promoting a normative shift towards democratic reforms
1. While occupationally diverse, they have been overwhelmingly male and middle aged
2. The majority comes from a privileged intelligentsia background: they are well educated, have professional and white-collar occupations, and are financially well off
3. A critical mass of the first generation of political leadership had ties to the old communist system
4. Regime change did not increase the representation of women in the political executive
1. The electoral threshold: definition in the electoral law of the minimum proportion of the vote which is needed to elect candidate slates and political parties to parliament
2. The minimum size requirement for party organization in parliament: second device to concentrate the party system in parliament. The minimum number of deputies to form a parliamentary party group has gradually been raised.
Both rules together form a multi-stage single process- electoral and parliamentary- to encourage aspiring candidates to form large parties in both elections and in parliament, and to encourage voters to reward them accordingly.
1. In the new parliaments, political diversity has replaced social diversity
2. The social composition more resembles Western Europe- higher education, older age, fewer women, and more organizational and economic leaders
3. The Central ‘turnover’ parliaments, in their initial parliamentary terms, were composed of political newcomers involved in the anti-communist reform movements, together with a substantial number of members of the newly reformed successor parties to the former communist parties
4. Members of parliaments often have personal connections to industries and interest groups
1. Created to handle certain tasks on behalf of the whole body, and to report their advice on decisions to be made by the whole body
2. Committees have become an essential part of the legislatures’ work on legislation, budgeting and oversight and are usually organized on the basis of the administrative structure of government
3. The general principle is that the jurisdiction of committees would roughly parallel the structure of administrative agencies as in most West European parliaments and the US Congress
4. Typically, the same committee structure is continued from one session to the next. One result of continuous committees is specialization in public policy in spite of the volatility of elections and political parties
1. Introduce bills
2. Make referrals to committee
3. Schedules both committee meetings and floor sessions
4. They have a speaker: usually the leader of one of the government parties
5. The formation of parliamentary leadership councils is an important step in the institutionalization of new parliaments
1. Revision of the legal order in the early years suitable for the post-communist economy and politics.
2. They had the responsibility of preparing new constitutions
1. an annual task: government’s proposed budget typically submitted to parliament about 3 months in advance of the beginning of the fiscal year
2. parliament has the ability to authorize taxes and public expenditures
1. relatively large number of weak parties elected to the newly democratized parliaments: showed high levels of fragmentation
2. The propensity of elites to form new parties: major factor sustaining the high levels of volatility
3. Problems involved in developing effective democratic parties in post communist CEE have generally been associated with their thin membership base, weak organizational structure and the limited funds at their disposal.
*CEE party membership levels in the post communist period have been, and remain, low.
Hungary: the resemblance of the new parties’ structures to those of the former ruling communist party was remarked on at an early stage, the growth of professionalization and bureaucratization only leading to the emergence of a sharply restricted and elitist democracy
1. In the mid 1990s, the Czech communists as well as Hungarian and Polish Socialists drew from 20 to 43% of their income from their members.
2. Strong regional tendency to depend on the state for their income
3. Hungary and Czech Republic: direct state funding
4. Poland eventually joined in on direct state funding of parties in 1997.
Success of party institutionalization often linked to levels of democratic achievement
1. Stability in the rules and nature of inter-party competition
2. The parties’ ability to put down stable roots in society: successes of parties in establishing social roots can partly be viewed in terms of membership levels
3. Major political actors regard parties and electoral processes as legitimate
4. Party organizations should acquire an independent status and value of their own
1. The demonstration effect led to the motivation of people rebelling against communism
2. Solidarity’s electoral victory in 1989 and the subsequent creation of a grand coalition government with only token communist representation, emboldened opposition leaders and the wider population in neighboring countries
3. The quick diffusion of revolutionary ferment was absolutely facilitated by the modern media of mass communication, specifically television.
4. Images such as the fall of the Berlin Wall or and the trial and execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu transmitted a sense of defiance and victory across the region
5. Popular upheavals were aided in more direct and tangible ways
6. Underground Solidarity received significant financial and logistical support from abroad, mostly from Western trade unions.
7. Pro-democracy movements aided by international NGOs
8. Widening gap between popular expectations and the actual fulfillment of needs are important factors leading to revolutionary ferment
9. Countries were experiencing economic crisis and stagnation, leading the people to not want the old ways of government anymore.
1. Low membership of political parties
2. People’s willingness to get engaged in voluntarily associations remain a decent indicator of the strength and quality of civil society
3. A totalitarian past, regardless of its version (communist or Nazi), hampers the development of civil society more than a mere authoritarian experience
4. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism spread out and hamper the re-emergence of civil society
5. No adequate basis for sustaining routine civic activities once the communist state was defeated
Protestors invoked commonly accepted values as the justification of their actions
1. Tension between the realization of particular, often legitimate interests, and the formal requirements of a procedural democracy.
2. The substantive rationality of the communist regime built tension, leading to protest and in extreme cases, violence.
3. Protests can be motivated by economic factors, like economic hardship of the people, leading to unrest.
4. Protests may also be instigated by non-economic factors such as ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, or simply the expression of certain values
Media has somehow deteriorated across the region over the course of the past decade.
1. Sometimes the worst enemies of the free press are the media people themselves. Journalists in both print and electronic media habitually blur the line between reporting facts and expressing opinions
2. Print media in CEE have a longstanding tradition of partisanship.
3. In some cases, the authoritarian government controlled the press4. Bias of private outlets is commonly accepted
1. Implementation of rapid privatization would result in the emergence of a new private sector
2. Assets would be transferred into private hands and free markets would allocate assets into the hands of firms that could use them most effectively.
3. New technology and know-how would flow over newly opened national frontiers, and growth and consumption would resume
4. Would set CEE countries more quickly on a trajectory toward steeper growth
1. They imposed shock programs of economic reform. Shock programs caused massive dislocations among less resilient sectors and population groups
2. Sudden liberalization of former communist countries led to bankrupting thousands of companies that had been oriented toward the Soviet and Comecon markets and then forced to compete with Western firms who had greater market experience and technology
1. Capitalism and democracy have been compatible (mutually supportive) largely due to the external influence of the European Union
2. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe wanting to join the EU had to adhere to norms of democracy and market capitalism.
3. *When democratic governance is stable, it can help to support economic growth.
4. Institutionalization of policy innovation explains why democracies on average outperform most authoritarian regimes in enabling economic growth
1. Most countries in the region introduced income-related unemployment benefit schemes quite early in the transition period
2. Provisions of the schemes were generous, reflecting concerns that unemployment could provoke serious discontent
3. Establishment of employment offices to help people find work, to provide training opportunities and to promote self employment and small business development
4. Governments in the region sought to expand social assistance payments to alleviate poverty during the initial years of transition
As a result of economic transformation
Initial main reasons:
1. The curtailing of state subsidies that distributed rewards and benefits and restrained inequality
2. The emergence of a largely unregulated private labor market
3. The movement of state-sector workers into either rich private sector activity or poor unemployment
1. Poverty affects different groups because any social group can have 1 or more of the 4 characteristics increasing poverty.
2. Specifically, the 4 characteristics that stand out for raising poverty above average:
-living in a rural area or a secondary city
-having low levels of education
1. There’s poverty in the working population rather than among the unemployed which has profound implications for the class structure of the societies of Central and Eastern European
2. People achieving subsistence through a range of different kinds of work
3. working household members combine numerous forms of labor= experience a shifting of their work identity, from employee, to contingent laborer, to self employed
4. Shifting identities connect to the performance of numerous class positions= making the identification of a singular post-socialist working class difficult
1. Polarization between traditional and secular-rational orientations toward authority
a. Traditional: refers to orientations that are relatively authoritarian, place strong emphasis on religion, and emphasize male dominance in economic and political life, respect for authority, and low levels of tolerance for abortion and divorce, high levels of national pride
b. Secular-rational: have the opposite characteristics
1. Rank high on the traditional/ secular- rational dimension (toward the secular pole)
2. Rank low on the survival/ self-expression dimension (falling near the survival-oriented pole)
Migration between the 2 regions has been modest
1. Results of the 1990, 1992, and 1996 general elections support that significant differences exist between the two regions with respect to political values and behavior, and that these differences survived the leveling power of the communist regime.
2. Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR), in general favored rapid reform of political and economic institutions, received greater support from Transylvania than the rest of the country.
1. Part of Habsburg Empire until 1918 (rest of country part of Ottoman Empire): until both became independent
2. More heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity and religious denomination than region 2
3. Entered the 20th century on a significantly higher level of socio-economic modernity than region 2
4. Birth rates started to decrease around 1880, 30 years earlier than region 2
5. Literacy rate higher than region 2
Differences between the 2 regions with regard to support of democracy may be rooted in and accounted for by a more distant past.
1. Before World War 2 the two regions did not vary with regard to modal political values, beliefs and behavior to the extent expected
2. The leveling effect of communist institutions was so strong that it cancelled out all effects of an early socialization
-Additionally, region 1 has a higher share of citizens who are members in voluntary organizations than region 2. The factors that account for this difference are civil values and attitudes, social resources and the capability to mobilize
-Different levels of civic activism in the regions rooted in different levels of the development of social and administrative infrastructures.
What is historico-cultural legacy theory? (part 1)
Asserts that political values, beliefs and behavior shaped by the societal and institutional designs of the pre communist era are preserved and important determinants of current political culture.
What is historico-cultural legacy theory? (part 2)
2 propositions which, if true, would support the historical cultural legacy approach:
1. Different distributions of values in two different populations is the result of differentiated experiences of historical socialization prior to the introduction of a radically new institutional context and re-allocation of societal resources
2. A particular historical cultural formation would predispose a community toward exhibiting certain types of political values even after a long interval
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