The European Integration and the Democratization in Eastern Europe
16 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2010
Date Written: June 1, 2009
Is the international diffusion of democratic norms and institutions protecting young democracies from undemocratic backlash? The literature gives a loud and a predominantly affirmative answer. The political experience in some post-communist countries, however, shows that the model of democratic diffusion centered on the European union, isn’t going without problems. This West-East diffusion, after the end of the communism, doesn’t automatically lead toward a stable and good quality democracy. This research as part of my on-going PhD program questions the traditional approach of the democratic diffusion based on the neo-institutionalism of rational choice. Inspired by the works of Max Weber and Norbert Elias, it offers an alternative view of the democracy: configurational, dynamic and interpretative. The democracy isn’t just an outcome of a list of formal prerequisites, but a dynamic process of social relations between actors on different, both on national and international, levels. The European integration may contribute toward more or less democracy only when the dialogues constructed under its influence work toward construction of democratic norms of behavior. Two main cases, Bulgaria and Macedonia, allow me to follow diachronically the process of political norms construction before and after their formal adherence to the Union.
Keywords: postcommunist, european union, democratization, transition, political regimes
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