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Out from the Cold: Peaceful Democratization in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic

  • Beat Kernen

Abstract

Democratization is a process that may endure for a long time and that cannot be followed according to a well-tested recipe or theory. It includes, therefore, many caveats, vagaries, and a strong element of unpredictability for any political system that finds itself in the transition from a non-democratic past to some form of democratic future.

Keywords

Czech Republic Communist Party Party System Coalition Government Parliamentary Election 
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Notes

  1. 1.
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    Listed as “situational preconditions” in Sabrina P. Ramet, “Balkan Pluralism and Its Enemies,” in Orbis (fall 1992): p. 547–564. For other sources of Ramet’s criteria of democracy, see: Aristotle’s Politics; Alvin Rabushka & Kenneth Shepsle, Politics in Plural Societies: A Theory of Democratic Instability (Columbia, Ohio: Merrill, 1992);Google Scholar
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    Free elections are one of several “institutional preconditions” according to Ramet, “Balkan Pluralism and Its Enemies.” For other definitions of democracy see: Wekkin et al., Building Democracy in One-Party Systems, p. 9–10; Georg Sorensen, Democracy and Democratization (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993), p. 13.Google Scholar
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    Ibid. For results and analyses of the 1994 elections, see: Edith Oltay, “Former Communists Win First Round of Hungarian Elections,” in RFE/RL Research Report (27 May 1994);Google Scholar
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  23. 39.
    Marius Janicki, “Two Sides of the Mirror; Parties, Party Leaders, Voters,” Polityka (12 October 1996), as translated in FBIS Daily Report (8 November 1996): p. 2–4. If these preliminary surveys prove correct, Solidarity may once again emerge as the winner and form a coalition government with other “Rightist” parties, whereas the Left Democratic Alliance and the Polish Peasant Party could be pushed into the opposition.Google Scholar
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  25. 42.
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  30. 52.
    An example was the government’s support for the Lety Archives and protection of the Lety camp, a site from which thousands of Roma were deported to Auschwitz during World War II; H. Kamm, “Havel Calls the Gypsies ‘Litmus Test’,” in New York Times (10 December 1993). Concerning the Roma in the Czech Republic see: Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, “Human Rights and Democratization in the Czech Republic,” p. 18–21.Google Scholar
  31. 60.
    For similar arguments, see: David B. Ottoway, “Czechs Defy Trend in Rebuffing Old Left,” in International Herald Tribune (28–29 May 1994).Google Scholar
  32. 61.
    T. J. Pempel, ed. Uncommon Democracies: The One-Party Dominant Regimes (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marco Rimanelli 1999

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  • Beat Kernen

There are no affiliations available

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