Stabilising Fragile Democracies: New Party Systems in Southern and Eastern Europe / Edition 1

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The recent history of both Southern and Eastern Europe has demonstrated the key role that political parties play in the establishment of new parliamentary democracy. Political parties often form as a result of opposition to previously authoritarian regimes, and their performance during a transition period gives an excellent indication of the nature and prospects of democracy.
This is the first book to provide a systematic comparison of the democratic transitions of Eastern and Southern Europe. It does so with the aid of four case studies from each region, written by regional specialists. The countries covered include Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. Within a comparative framework the authors discuss the central questions of how democratic parties and political elites form, how alliances and coalitions are built, how parties cope with their inheritance and develop new identities and how they behave during elections.
Stabilising Fragile Democracies provides both an invaluable guide to recent events in Southern and Eastern Europe and a means to understanding the process of democratization.

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Editorial Reviews

A comparative analysis of democratic transitional governments in eastern and southern Europe focusing on four case studies from Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria. The 14 contributors consider how democratic parties and political elites form, the alliances and coalitions that are built after authoritarian regimes, and how parties cope with their histories while establishing new political identities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415118033
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/18/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of contributors
Introduction: Stabilising fragile democracies and party system development 1
1 Party inheritances and party identities 23
2 From nomenclatura to clientura: the emergence of new political elites in east-central Europe 44
3 Structuring the new party systems after the dictatorship: coalitions, alliances, fusions and splits during the transition and post-transition stages 69
4 Parties and electoral choices in east-central Europe 100
5 Italy's postwar transition in contemporary perspective 126
6 The emergence of new party systems and transitions to democracy: Spain in comparative perspective 145
7 Securing democracy in post-authoritarian Greece: the role of political parties 167
8 The revenge of history: the Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian transitions - some comparisons 186
9 The emergence of new party systems and transitions to democracy: Romania and Portugal compared 206
10 The formation of political parties in post-communist Poland 229
11 Bulgaria's new party system 254
Index 266
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