Paul G. Lewis
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Central and eastern Europe

This chapter reviews how far democratization has progressed in central and eastern Europe (CEE) in concrete terms and discusses some major points of contention that have arisen. It shows how democratization has been viewed in the CEE context and the nature of the conceptual lens that have been deployed to chart developments in this area. The chapter discusses democratization concepts that include transition, consolidation and stasis. The character of the political culture is often associated with the beliefs and practices that already well established in western Europe. Democratic development is often identified with Europeanization in the sense of the assumption of a consciously (west) European identity. This identity is, in practice, intimately associated with both the structures and the processes that are designed to lead to formal EU membership. Finally, the chapter examines different reasons that have been identified to explain the deficiencies of the post-communist democracies.

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