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Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe

by: Danijela Dolenc
published by
: European Consortium for Political Research Press
pp: 220
ISBN: 978-1907301438
price: $ 40.50

Book's frontpage

The Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito once warned "one should not hold on to the law like a drunken man holds on to a fence." A still-valid piece of popular wisdom, this statement acurately sums up the persistant problem of authoritarian rule and sham law in southeastern Europe. This volume investigates why the postcommunist democratic transition of southeastern Europe fell so short of initial expectations, connecting the failure of democratization to the dominance and interference of authoritarian parties in the processes of regime change. These parties established and implemented practices of nondemocratic governance that continue to subvert the rule of law more than twenty years after communism ended. In a rare move, this text empirically supports the argument that a double movement thwarted the post-socialist transformation of the region, in which nondemocratic practies of rule subverted the advance toward more formal democratic institutions. This conflicting development explains why improvements to formal democratic institutions failed to produce expected democratization outcomes.

 

About the author

Danijela Dolenec teaches comparative politics and social science methodology at the University of Zagreb. She is a critical scholar advocating democratization, sustainability, and resistance to commodification processes. She received her master's degree from the London School of Economics and her doctorate in political science from ETH Zürich in Switzerland. Her primary interest in post-socialist democratization evolved during her time as a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008. Dolonec's previous publications cover such topics as the commodification of European systems of higher education and the Europeanization of post-socialist party systems. Her most recent work is a coauthored study on sustainable development in Croatia, We Need to Change.

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