The impact of EU conditionality upon democratisation: Comparing electoral competition and civil service reforms in post-communist Albania
Title: The impact of EU conditionality upon democratisation: Comparing electoral competition and civil service reforms in post-communist Albania
Author: ELBASANI, Arolda
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This dissertation explores how and to what extent EU conditionality can foster democratisation in a highly problematic case such as post-communist Albania. In order to examining the phenomena of democratisation in operational detail, the thesis delves into the sub-systemic level of democratisation focusing on two partial regimes - electoral regime and civil service system. The analysis follows on the rational choice premise that the domestic actors’ strategies of compliance depend on the structure of external incentives i.e. rewards and threats, that appeal to their interest. Our account on the impact of EU conditionality upon democratisation assumes that the likelihood of compliance depends on 1) the size of the rewards attached to conditionality; 2) the size of adoption costs; 3) the clarity of prescriptions and 4) credibility of reinforcement. The first part consists of developing a conceptual framework for assessing and explaining the impact of EU enlargement conditionality over democratisation processes. The second part explores the case of Albanian democratisation and the specific challenge it poses to the working of EU conditionality. The third part analyses the association between EU conditionality and reform seeking to identify whether the fortification of the EU conditionality coincides with a pattern-breaking change in each of the partial regimes of our choice. The thesis concludes that the EU was more successful to foster reforms in the area of electoral competition than public administration and civil service system. The EU seemed to push forward reforms by articulating clear prescriptions regarding the electoral competition; and advancing contractual relations with the country in function of electoral performance.
LC Subject Heading: Albania -- International relations -- European Union countries; European Union -- Albania; European Union countries -- International relations -- Balkan Peninsula
Defence date: 30 November 2007; Supervisor: P. Schmitter
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