Institutionalist theoretical framework
This chapter introduces the theoretical model of the study and derives a hypothesis based on it. I first explain the theoretical foundations of dependent variables: degree of democracy and nature of regime outcomes, which stem from transitologist studies on the relative nature of regime types and the institutionalist understandings of the concept of democracy and its components. Then, I employ the models of Rational Choice Institutionalism and Sociological Institutionalism to explain the multiple influences of Russia and the EU on the quality of democracy and the regime outcomes in their shared neighborhood. Democratic conditionality in the non-enlargement context moves to the foreground to explain the varying success of the EU in advancing democratic norms in the states under study. The role of Russia is theorized based on the existing theoretical frameworks in literature on external autocracy promotion, such as bolstering and subverting, and managed stability and managed instability. Finally, I also identify a number of domestic factors that serve as a domestic filter and affect the impact of external actors.
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