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Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe

Democratization is an ongoing process. Various social, economic, and historical dynamics play a vital role in the process of democratization. In this process, scholars like Fukuyama, Samuel P. Huntington and others have defined various trends and waves of democracy. The process of democratization is still going on in post-communist countries. Experts on the democratization process define such transformation as “hybrid democracies,” “delegative,” “defective,” “authoritarian,” “Potempkin,” “ethnocratic,” “limited,” and “false,” among others (p. 14). In the Latin American and post-communist European contexts, the term ‘third wave of democracy’ was used. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, most of the post-communist countries adopted democratic institutions.

Democratization is an ongoing process. Various social, economic, and historical dynamics play a vital role in the process of democratization. In this process, scholars like Fukuyama, Samuel P. Huntington and others have defined various trends and waves of democracy. The process of democratization is still going on in post-communist countries. Experts on the democratization process define such transformation as “hybrid democracies,” “delegative,” “defective,” “authoritarian,” “Potempkin,” “ethnocratic,” “limited,” and “false,” among others (p. 14). In the Latin American and post-communist European contexts, the term ‘third wave of democracy’ was used. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, most of the post-communist countries adopted democratic institutions.

The present volume Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe by Danijela Dolenec adds another dimension to explain the democratic process in post-communist countries. Talking particularly about Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, the volume tries to answer the question why the democratization of Southeastern Europe has not developed at the same level as the countries of Central Eastern Europe after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The main questions the author tries to answer are: What are the reasons that the protection of the human rights and freedom remains the weakest link of democratization, and why do fragile rule of law systems and enveloping corruption remain the weakest link in this process? The book focuses on the dynamic of party competition influenced by violent conflicts and the process of European integration.

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