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   Course Title    Political Reforms in East and Central Europe
Lecturer    Alexander Markarov
Institution    Yerevan State University
Country    Armenia

Political development through the 20th century could be presented in terms of transitions and conflicts. Following Samuel Huntingtons definition, current political changes in Eastern Europe and FSU countries could be considered a substantial part of the third wave of democratization, which started in the middle of the 1970es and continues through the reminder of the century. The world has witnessed the crisis and collapse of one of the great powers and the decline of the "socialist system." The breakdown of that system let to a complex of difficulties related to the transformation of authoritarian/totalitarian regimes into democratic societies. This transition has brought to the fore the questions of constitution building, the formation of new political institutions, the creation of market economies and the resolution of ethno-national conflicts in the former socialist bloc. Democratic transitions also took place in Southern Europe and Latin America and despite the peculiarities of current political developments in Eastern Europe and the FSU, the experiences of other newly democratized regions provide important lessons for the former communist countries. Thus helps us to answer a critical question: How formerly authoritarian countries become democracies. The answer to this question has crucial importance for both the further development of countries in transition and the world as a whole.

The proposed course will cover a wide spectrum of issues related to the problems of transition. During the classes theoretical models, methodological tools and comparative frameworks for analyzing transitional processes and democratic development in the 20th Century will be present. The course will also present and compare paths of transitions, the problems and obstacles of democratic consolidation as well as current issues in the countries that started the process in the last quarter of our century. The course shall specifically focus on the present major issues in democratic transitions, liberalization and consolidation of new democratic nations. Recent theories and findings in transitology and international research practices in the proposed field will be presented to participants. In both the lectures and seminar sessions there will be an emphasis on relating the latest theoretical and practical research work to the particular circumstances of the region. Particular attention will be paid to the local problems and achievements in the transition process in Armenia.

Students will receive the list of recommended literature before the actual beginning of the classes. Participants will be involved in seminars discussions of course related topics. And, where appropriate, case studies from the region will be presented as an integral part of the course. By the end of the course, participants will submit a paper based on the course materials.

I want to thank Dr. A.Y.Melville and Dr. D.Bartlett for their significant contribution in the process of writing the course syllabus, the CRC staff and the CEU Library staff in Budapest for being so helpful while the CRC Political Sciences Session (February, 2000) was going on.


Lecturer A. Markarov

The course presents and compares the processes leading to the collapse of the regimes in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union, viewed in comparison with similar processes in Southern Europe and Latin American countries. The course will focus on types and stages of transition: liberalization; democratization; foundation of democracy and consolidation of democracy. Participants will learn the modes of democratization in the dimensions of political institution building and formation of civil society; economic transition and formation of market economy as well as ethno-national issues. Special attention will be paid to domestic reasons and international environment of transition, alternative approaches to democratic transitions and to theoretical and methodological models of research.

During the sessions special attention will be paid to case studies and discussion of the issues devoted to the region: such as transitions and the politics in transition in the Caucasus and the wider region of the FSU.

Topics: approaches in explaining democratic transitions; concepts of democracy and "democratization waves"; types of previous regimes and the crisis of the socialist system; domestic reasons and international environment of transitions; approaches to study of democratic transitions; models of transition; constitution-making and institution-building process; presidentialism vs. parliamentarism; the role of founding elections; democracy and market; the challenges of economic reform, especially privatization and restructuring of economic systems; the outcomes of transitions.

Format of Course and Requirements:

The course will combine lectures by the instructor with class discussion as well as case studies/case-teaching - the sequence will vary between session. Participants are expected to active participate at the discussions and be familiar with the required readings. The difficulty of the articles varies (regardless of ones level or comfort with English or Russian). Course participants should do the readings prior to the class. At the end of the course students are required to present a 6- 8 pages essay.

Schedule of the activities

1. Political changes and political development. Political development as transition of political systems. Political development and political regimes changes. Types of political regimes. Non democratic political regimes. Postotalitarian regimes. Varieties of authoritarian regimes (military juntas, personal dictatorships, sultanism, one-party systems). Left- and rightauthoritarian regimes. Democratization of rightauthoritarian regimes and transformation of post-totalitarian regimes.

Required readings:

Linz J. & A. Stepan Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation Baltimore and L., The John Hopkins University Press, 1996, pp. 3 - 83

2. Democratic theory and contemporary concepts of democracy, minimalist- procedural understanding of democracy, Democracy as polyarchy. Democracy as certainty of procedures and uncertainty of outcomes. The problem of democratic prerequisites and preconditions.

Required readings:

Przeworski A. Democracy and market. - Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp.10 - 50 (Now available also in Russian)

3. Problems of democratic transitions. "Waves of democratization" in the world. Peculiarities of the current wave of democratization: Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union. Differences during the process of democratization in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Rightauthoritarian regimes in transition. Cases of Portugal, Spain, Greece and Latin American countries. East European cases of democratic transitions.

The factor of uncertainty in current democratic transitions. Variety of outcomes from democratic transitions

Required readings:

Huntington T. The Third Wave Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, pp 13 - 46

Rustow D. Transitions to Democracy. - Comparative Politics #2, 1970 (Now available also in Russian)

4. Case study and discussion. Soviet Union and Eastern European countries as models of totalitarian and post totalitarian regime types. Similarities and differences. Differences during the process of democratization in different Eastern European countries. Their comparison between Soviet Union and East European cases of democratic transitions.

5. Domestic factors of democratization during the "third wave": Economic ineffectiveness of authoritarian regimes and economic collapse of communism. Nationalism, disintegration and separatist tendencies. Elements of civic culture. Main actors of contemporary democratic transitions, comparisons of the role of masses and elites International (governmental, nongovernmental and inter governmental) factors of democratic transitions. The varieties of international influences on the process of democratization. Correlation between the domestic and external (international) factors of the third wave of democratization. Peculiarities of the contemporary international environment.

Required readings:

Whitehead L. International Aspects of Democratization in G.ODonnell, Ph.Schmitter and L.Whitehead (eds.) Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. Comparative Perspectives, Baltimore and L., John Hopkins University Press, 1991, pp. 3 - 47

Hyde-Price A.1994 Democratization in Eastern Europe: the external dimension in G. Pridham and T. Vanhanen (eds.) Democratization in eastern Europe. Domestic and International perspectives. L and NY, Routledge, pp. 220 -255

Przeworski A and Limongi F. Modernization. Theories and Facts. - "World Politics", 1997, January

6. Seminar/discussion. Case study. Domestic and international factors of democratization in Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. (With the special attention to those factors in the countries of Summer School participants origin.) The influence of Soviet politics of perestroika on the processes of democratic transitions in Eastern and Central Europe

7. Approaches to study of transitions. Modernization theories, comparative historical studies, elite contestation theories, institutional configuration theories. Structural and procedural approaches to the problems of study of democratic transitions The possibility of theoretical and methodological synthesis of structural and procedural approaches within the analysis of democratic transitions. "The funnel of causality" as the analytical model. The analytical move from the macro- toward the microfactors.

Required readings:

Reisinger W. 1997 Establishing and Strengthening Democracy in R.Grey ed. Democratic Theory and Post-Communist Change, Grinnel College, pp52 - 79

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8. The models of transitions: reforms, pacts, revolutions, enforcement. Differences of strategies (forceful and compromises) and differences within the participants (masses and elites) during the process of democratization General and peculiar in the different paths of democratization of authoritarian regimes. The factor of erosion of authoritarian regimes. The role of military. The division within the ruling elites: hardliners and reformers. Stages of liberalization and democratization. The role of opposition and mass political mobilization. The role and functions of pacts between the reformers and hardliners. Differences of pacts.

Required readings:

Huntington S. The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth century. Norman and L., University of Oklahoma Press, 1991, pp121 - 162

9. Case study/discussion. Paths of Transition in Eastern Europe and Soviet republics

10. The problem of institutional choices during democratic transitions. Democratic institution building and institutionalization of democracy. Presidential and parliamentary models of new democracies. The choices among electoral systems. The influences of majoritarian system and proportional representation. The role of "founding elections". The problem of sequences of national and local elections

Required readings:

Lijphart A. Constitutional Choices for New Democracies Journal of Democracy 2,Winter, 1991

Linz J. The Perils of Presidentialism in The Global Resurgence of democracy, Ed by L.Diamond and M.Plattner, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and L., 1993, pp. 108 - 127

Linz J. The Virtues of Parliamentarism, Ibid, pp. 138 - 146

11. Seminar/discussion Institutional Choices in New Democracies

12. The outcomes of democratic transitions. 1) consolidated democracies; 2) nonconsolidated democracies 3) hybrid regimes; 4) reverse toward authoritarian regime etc. The characteristics of consolidated democracies. The areas of democratic consolidation: 1) civil society, 2) political society; 3) rule of law; 4) effective state apparatus; 5) economic society. Democratic consolidation and political culture. Obstacles on the way of democratic consolidation. "Delegated" democracy, "non-liberal" democracies and electoral regimes. The perspectives of consolidation of new democracies. Multidimension of modern post-communism. The distinctive futures of post-communist transformations: 1) dual tasks of political democratization and transition toward the market economy; 2) necessity of the structural modernization of economy; 3) the collapse of state and the absence of effective state apparatus; 4) embrionality of civil society; 5) ethnonationalistic reactions on the communist collapse

Required readings:

Fish: S. Democratizations Requisites: The Post-Communist Experience. - "Post-Soviet Affairs", 1998, July-September

ODonnell, Delegative Democracy, Journal of Democracy, 5, January, 1994

L.Diamond Towardth Democratic Consolidation Journal of Democracy,vol5,#3, July 1994

13 The factors of economic reforms in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union. The determinants of economic reforms: how are they explained? Economic, cultural, political-institutional, political-junctural explanations

Required readings:

Fish S. The determinants of Economic reform in the Post-Communist World . - "East European Politics and Society", Vol. 12, #1, Winter, 1998

14 The peculiarities of democratic transition in Russia. The specific of formation and evolution of democratic movement in Russia. The absence of pact and initial elections. Traditional administrative-apparatchik way of implementing reforms. The influence of authoritarian political forces and tendencies. The characteristics of post-communist regime in Russia. The peculiarities of political institutions in Russia. Russian presidency and parliament. The evolution of political values and orientations. The obstacles on the way of democratic consolidation in Russia

Required readings:

McFaul M. Russias Rough Ride in Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies. Regional Challenges, Ed. by L. Diamond and other, The John Hopkions University Pres, Baltoimore and L., 1997, pp. 64 - 95

15. Democratization process in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Perestroika and independence. Tripple transition and nation building. Institution building and power struggle. Presidents and presidential powers. Elections to the parliament. Parliaments and representation Party formation. Foreign factors in politics of Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

Required readings:

Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Ed. by K.Dawisha and B.Parrott, Cambridge University Press, 1997

16. Armenian transition. The rise of ANM in 1988. The root towards independence. The 1990 referendum and the Declaration of Independence. Initial elections - 1990 paliamentary elections and 1991 presidential elections. Influence of Karabagh conflict on the development of domestic politics. The rise of presidential power. Struggle for Constitution and 1995 Constitutional referendum. Rise and fall of L.Ter-Petrossian - movement leader and president. 1999 parliamentary elections - the rise of new "old" leader. K. Demirjian phenomena. "Bloody October". Constitutional reform continued?

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