New book. Terje Knutsen: The Democratisation of Eastern Europe 1989-2004
Associate professor at the Department of Comparative Politics, Terje Knutsen, has published a new book on the he Democratisation of Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.
In the period since the fall of communism, Eastern Europe has gone through massive societal turmoil. This book takes a closer look at how five East European countries, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria handled these challenges. More specifically, it looks at how these countries have handled challenges regarding economic development, good governance, nationalism and xenophobia while at the same time trying to build and consolidate democracy.
Countries that dared to implement all the necessary economic changes to their full extent in order to create a market economy were rewarded; the process of democratic consolidation strengthened. Those countries that only initiated partial or piecemeal reform lagged behind. In this process, nationalism has not been impediment to democratic development, while xenophobia seems to affect it negatively.
Furthermore, the legacy of former regimes seems to be the single most important factor in determining successful democratic consolidation among the factors examined.