Institutionalising Parliaments in Central and Eastern Europe

Authored by: Josephine T. Andrews

The Routledge Handbook of East European Politics

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138919754
eBook ISBN: 9781315687681
Adobe ISBN:


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The literature on legislatures in Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) is part of a broader inquiry into the adoption and implementation of democratic institutions in the aftermath of the collapse of communist political and economic systems between 1989 and the end of 1991. Beginning with a focus on the design of basic constitutional structures (Lijphart 1992, Geddes 1996, Elster et al. 1998), that is, the parliamentary and semi-presidential systems characteristic of new democracies in CEE (Shugart 2005), inquiry quickly expanded to include the development of other institutions essential to parliamentary democracy, especially political parties and party systems (Bielasiak 2002, Tavits 2005), cabinets (Blondel and Müller-Rommel 2001), and implications of the dual executive (Protsyk 2005). Once it became clear that post-communist countries in Europe would have the opportunity to join the European Union (EU) assuming they could meet the Copenhagen Conditions, it was necessary to understand the impact of the EU’s accession process on both institutional design and development, and this inspired a substantial and growing literature in and of itself (Grabbe 2002, Malová and Haughton 2002). Initially, most of this work focused directly or indirectly on the relationship between institutional design and the success of democratisation; even work on the impact of the EU on institutional development was centrally concerned with the success of EU conditionality on democratisation (Schimmelfennig and Scholtz 2008).

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