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Democratization in Postcommunist Europe: Illiberal Regimes and the Leverage of International Actors. CES Working Paper, no. 139, 2006

Vachudova, Milada Anna. (2006) Democratization in Postcommunist Europe: Illiberal Regimes and the Leverage of International Actors. CES Working Paper, no. 139, 2006. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    The European Union (EU) may be presiding over the most successful democracy promotion program ever implemented by an international actor. Among postcommunist states with a credible EU membership perspective, we can see a significant – though far from complete – convergence toward liberal democracy. This is all the more interesting since ten years ago many of these states had illiberal or authoritarian regimes. I focus in this article on the sources of political change in previously illiberal regimes before and after “watershed elections,” especially in the Western Balkans. I argue that over time the EU’s leverage strengthened the hand of liberal forces against illiberal ones by way of four mechanisms: creating a focal point for cooperation, providing incentives for adapting, using conditionality, and serving as a credible commitment for reform. Consequently, most political parties have eventually changed their agenda to make it compatible with the state’s bid for EU membership. I investigate the domestic conditions that have caused these mechanisms to function only weakly in Serbia and Bosnia.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-South-Eastern Europe (Balkans)
    EU policies and themes > External relations > human rights & democracy initiatives
    Countries > Bosnia/Herzegovina
    Countries > Serbia/Montenegro (to June 2006)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies > CES Working Papers Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2008
    Page Range: p. 36
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:58
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9023

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