Party system institutionalization and the quality of democracy in Eastern Europe
Title: Party system institutionalization and the quality of democracy in Eastern Europe
Author: CASAL BÉRTOA, Fernando
Series/Number: DISC Working Paper Series; 2009/07
Almost two decades have passed since the Third Wave of democratization brought an avalanche of new, relatively unstable democracies into being in Eastern Europe. Although democracy and a market economy seem to have taken firm root, at least for the ten Eastern European countries currently members of the European Union (EU), in the light of the complicated post-communist legacy, this may have not been enough time for their political parties and party systems to institutionalize. Moreover, a well-rehearsed litany of complaints has been recited against the countries in the region encompassing, inter alia, weak governability and accountability, a representation deficit; corruption and clientelism, populism, and threats to democratic stability; raising once again the question, "How important the former (i.e. political parties and party systems) are for the quality of democracy?"
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