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.