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East European Politics and Societies

Impact factor: 0.4 5-Year impact factor: 0.51 Print ISSN: 0888-3254 Publisher: Sage Publications

Subjects: Area Studies, Political Science

Most recent papers:

  • A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing?: Jovan Raskovic, the Serbian Democratic Party, and the "Serbian Question" in Croatia.
    Hayball, H. J.
    East European Politics and Societies. November 30, 2016

    Jovan Rašković, the popular founding president of Croatia’s Serbian Democratic Party (Srpska demokratska stranka, SDS), is widely viewed as representing a "missed opportunity" for peace in Croatia in 1990–1991, a moderate advocate of "cultural autonomy" and equality within Croatia who was undermined by the aggressive politics of Slobodan Milošević’s Serbia, which supported instead the territorial and separatist ideas of Milan Babić. This support is considered a key component of Milošević’s intervention in Croatia and is often viewed as decisive in foreclosing opportunities for a peaceful settlement of Croat–Serb relations. This article challenges this interpretation, arguing that the SDS’s politics were premised from the start on the notion that the Serbs in Croatia were a "sovereign nation" with the right to self-determination up to secession. If Croatia remained in a Yugoslav federation, this meant that Serbs could opt for a wide variety of rights within Croatia, including forms of territorial autonomy. In the event of Yugoslavia’s disintegration or transformation into a confederation, the Serbian minority could secede from Croatia. The differences between Rašković and Babić have been considerably overstated, and some of the SDS’s more moderate rhetoric fundamentally misunderstood. It was Rašković, not Babić or Milošević, who founded the territorial and separatist politics of the Serbian Democratic Party in Croatia.

    November 30, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416678043   open full text
  • From Lenin to Walesa: Communists, Anti-communists and the Common Call for Human Dignity.
    Grodsky, B.
    East European Politics and Societies. November 02, 2016

    In this article, I argue that the ideological revolutions of the twentieth century were fundamentally about human rights, and human dignity in particular. By human dignity, I refer to an amalgam of primarily economic but also social and political rights. Throughout the century, revolutionaries capitalized on conditions of human rights deprivations under the ruling regime and mobilized supporters based on promises of rectification. Regime changes were far less about ideology (e.g., communism, democracy) than they were about ensuring human dignity. In most cases, the new ideologies and elites driving change brought new sets of human dignity shortcomings with them. I explore this argument with an in-depth analysis of regime change in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century and Poland at the end. In each case, I find that promises of human dignity, starting with ensuring the preservation of life and basic economic conditions for survival, were the rallying point for change.

    November 02, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416674069   open full text
  • Repression, Redistribution and the Problem of Authoritarian Control: Responses to the 17 June Uprising in Socialist East Germany.
    Thomson, H.
    East European Politics and Societies. October 25, 2016

    Theories of authoritarianism assert that autocratic governments follow repressive and redistributive policies which impede mass mobilization, mitigate economic grievances and prevent regime instability. However, policy formulation and implementation remain opaque and under-theorized elements of authoritarian politics. I argue that the mix of repressive and redistributive policies chosen by a regime is a function of intra-elite conflict between hard-liners and soft-liners. The power of the two factions and their influence on policy evolve as members of the elite learn to judge the comparative advantages of the regime in repression and redistribution. Hard-liners will be ascendant in regimes with a comparative advantage in repression, while soft-liners will be ascendant in regimes with a comparative advantage in redistribution. I illustrate these arguments with an account of the East German regime’s response to the 17 June uprising in 1953, including analysis of an original data set on secret police informants and food supplies after the unrest.

    October 25, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416670241   open full text
  • The Visegrad Countries and Visa Liberalisation in the Eastern Neighbourhood: A Pan Tadeusz Syndrome?
    Merheim-Eyre, I.
    East European Politics and Societies. October 20, 2016

    The four Visegrad states (V4) of Central Europe play an important role in facilitating closer relationship between the European Union (EU) and its eastern neighbours. In particular, they seek to achieve this through increased cross-border mobility as a means of supporting institutional reforms, sharing know-how, and promoting cross-border economic development. Such approach is of particular interest in highlighting the V4’s different response to preventing uncontrolled migration from the southern neighbourhood, in contrast to managing legal migration across the Union’s eastern border. Previous studies of the Visegrad states’ role in the eastern neighbourhood often point to the historical discourse, or simply assume unspecified existing "interests." However, an assessment lacks into the extent to which the V4’s increasing role in the neighbourhood is based on a historical discourse seeking to revive past connections, or an interest (security)-based approach shrouded in normative agenda.

    The article argues that while the V4 states might pursue visa liberalisation with the eastern neighbours for diverse reasons (ends), the four states employ a shared normative agenda (means), which includes (1) a shift from the "exclusive" impact of Fortress Europe towards "politics of inclusion" and (2) recognition of the transformational impact of cross-border mobility in areas as diverse as minority rights, promotion of democratic governance, and economic cooperation.

    October 20, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416673140   open full text
  • Is Eastern Europe to Blame for Falling Corporate Taxes in Europe?: The Politics of Tax Competition Following EU Enlargement.
    Tudor, C. L., Appel, H.
    East European Politics and Societies. September 27, 2016

    When a dozen new countries joined the European Union in the mid-2000s, political tensions spiked over disparities in corporate income tax rates. Since the time of enlargement, leaders have tried repeatedly to enhance corporate tax coordination within the EU, as a result of fears of downward pressure on corporate tax rates and states’ weakening ability to collect revenues. At the same time, leaders from new member states in Eastern Europe with low corporate tax rates have contended that regional efforts to coordinate tax policies are not worthwhile, given that corporate tax competition is a global phenomenon. This article argues that corporate tax competition is more acute at the regional than the global level. While corporate tax rates are falling inside and outside the EU, we demonstrate using a large multiyear, multiregional data set that Eastern European countries have extremely low corporate tax rates relative to other EU and non-EU countries, even when controlling for multiple domestic economic and political factors. These findings support the potential efficacy of pursuing regional corporate tax reform to address the downward spiraling of rates in the EU.

    September 27, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416663834   open full text
  • The Effects of Electoral Rules on Parliamentary Behavior: A Comparative Analysis of Poland and the Czech Republic.
    Stegmaier, M., Marcinkiewicz, K., Jankowski, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. September 27, 2016

    Do different types of preferential-list PR systems create different incentives for how Members of Parliament vote? To examine this, we compare the quasi-list system of Poland, where only preference votes determine which candidates win seats, to the flexible-list system in the Czech Republic, where the 5 percent preference vote threshold required to override the party ranking of candidates gives the party greater power in influencing which candidates become MPs. We analyze roll call votes in the 2007–2011 Sejm and the 2010–2013 Czech Chamber of Deputies and, after controlling for party and MP characteristics, we find that in both countries, MPs with lower preference vote shares are more likely to vote along with their party. But, when we compare the strength of this relationship, we observe substantial differences. The magnitude of this relationship in the Czech Republic is ten times stronger than in Poland, which can be attributed to the more prominent role Czech electoral rules give to the party.

    September 27, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416670240   open full text
  • Sites That Haunt: Affects and Non-sites of Memory.
    Sendyka, R.
    East European Politics and Societies. August 11, 2016

    In this article, the author seeks to establish whether specific sites from Eastern Europe can be viewed as loci critiquing Pierre Nora’s seminal notion of lieux de mémoire. The sites in question are abandoned, clandestine locations of past violence and genocide, witnesses to wanton killings, today left with no or not adequate memorial markers. Without monuments, plaques, or fences, they might be understood as "completely forgotten," as Claude Lanzmann once claimed. In opposition to that view, in the article the locations in question are interpreted as still potent agents in local processes of working with a traumatic past. Sites of mass violence and genocide are described as unheimlich and trigger strong affective reactions of fear, disgust, and shame whose actual causes remain unclear. This article analyzes possible catalysts of these powerful affective responses. The first hypothesis is grounded in the abundance of ghost stories in literary or artistic representations of the sites in question. The second hypothesis addresses the issue of the presence of dead bodies: human remains have never been properly neutralized by rituals. And finally, the third hypothesis explores the "effect of the affects" of non-sites of memory as the capacity of bodies to be moved by other bodies, the bodies affected in this case being those of the visitors to the uncanny sites.

    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416658950   open full text
  • Communist Legacies and Democratic Survival in a Comparative Perspective: Liability or Advantage.
    Carter, J., Bernhard, M. H., Nordstrom, T.
    East European Politics and Societies. August 11, 2016

    The literature on the legacies of communism for democratization has focused almost exclusively on explaining variation in the democratic experiences within the postcommunist space. While this is useful in many ways, it says little about a communist legacy in comparison to other types of antecedent regimes. We take a different approach, looking at the question by comparing postcommunist legacies to those of other states through the prism of democratic survival. One key implication of this shift in perspective is that the literature on democratic survival highlights a range of social and economic factors that are likely to help postcommunist democracies survive, which stands in stark contrast to the postcommunist democratic performance literature that emphasizes potential disadvantages. We assess these competing and contradictory implications by analyzing the relative likelihood of democratic survival using a sample of all third-wave democracies from 1970 to 2010. We find that postcommunist democracies are neither systematically more nor less likely to fail than other democracies. Further, we find no evidence that the prospects of failure are significantly affected by past membership in the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc, the type of communist regime, or the number of years under communist rule. These findings provide little evidence that the problems of postcommunist democratization pose a more difficult set of conditions for democratic survival.

    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416659109   open full text
  • Jasenovac--A Past That Does Not Pass: The Presence of Jasenovac in Croatian and Serbian Collective Memory of Conflict.
    Odak, S., Bencic, A.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 10, 2016

    In this article the authors discuss the role of Jasenovac Concentration Camp in Croatian and Serbian political and social spheres. Connecting the historical data with the analysis of the recent mutual accusations of genocide between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the authors demonstrate the pervasive presence of Jasenovac in Serbian and Croatian political discourse. Presenting different modes of social construction around Jasenovac, from the end of the Second World War to the present, the article proposes a specific reading of Jasenovac as a form of the "past that does not pass." In this respect, Jasenovac is seen as a continuous reference point for understanding collective losses and group suffering, both past and present, in Serbian and Croatian society. Although historically distanced by seventy years, the events surrounding Jasenovac are still constantly recurring in both political and private, official and unofficial, spheres of life, functioning as a specific symbol around which narratives of ethnic, national, and religious understanding as well as inter-group conflicts are thought and constructed. The role of political and social factors in the construction of frequently incompatible narratives is further underlined by the analysis of selected oral testimonies related to the war in Yugoslavia in 1990s.

    July 10, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416653657   open full text
  • (A)symmetry of (Non-)memory: The Missed Opportunity to Work Through the Traumatic Memory of the Polish-Ukrainian Ethnic Conflict in Pawłokoma.
    Magierowski, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 12, 2016

    During the Second World War, the village of Pawłokoma, nowadays located a dozen kilometres from the Polish–Ukrainian border, was an area of conflict between the two nations. It has been almost ten years since the ceremony was held commemorating the victims of the conflict. The ceremony was attended by the Polish and Ukrainian Presidents. Today, the village is a symbol of reconciliation between the two nations. This article analyzes the dynamics of local collective memory about the conflict, using the "working through" concept and works on social remembering as a theoretical framework. In my discussion of the causes and effects of the changes in dynamics, I use data from individual in-depth interviews with three categories of respondents: the inhabitants of Pawłokoma, local leaders, and experts.

    The aforementioned ceremony was an opportunity for working through the traumatic past in the local community of Pawłokoma. Although social consultations were held in Pawłokoma rather than a comprehensive working-through process, we should be talking about a symbolic substitute for this process. Despite the fact that material commemorations of the Polish and Ukrainian victims were erected, some factors essential to accomplishing the working-through process were missed, such as complex institutional support, the engagement of younger generations, and empathy towards the "Others" and their sufferings.

    June 12, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416651328   open full text
  • Montenegro: A Democracy without Alternations.
    Komar, O., Zivkovic, S.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 12, 2016

    Montenegro is a country in which one of the main features of representative democracy has never developed: government replaceability. After regaining independence and initiating an EU accession process, externally driven changes have stimulated lively institutional transformations which, however, have failed to produce meaningful democratic competition.

    This article tries to shed some light on the following phenomenon: how is it possible that in a formally democratic legal framework the ruling (ex-communist) party keeps winning each national election? Apart from providing a contextual analysis, it seeks to describe a rather interesting concept—the image of invincibility which is, together with deep national/ethnic divisions and non-participant political attitudes, believed to be one of the key ingredients of the enigma of the last uninterrupted ex-communist incumbency in the post-communist world.

    June 12, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416652229   open full text
  • Electoral Accountability and Substantive Representation of National Minorities: The Case of Serbia.
    Loncar, J.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 08, 2016

    This article examines under what conditions descriptive representatives of national minorities can also act as substantive representatives. It provides an empirical analysis of the behaviour of the representatives with ethnic minority background in the eighth National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Specifically, the article builds upon the content analysis of all interventions in the plenary parliamentary debates of the thirty-one minority MPs in the period between June 2008 and March 2012. The analysis suggests that having a minority ethnic background or political party registered as a political party of national minority are not sufficient conditions for substantive minority representation. The findings show that minority representatives elected on minority electoral lists engage more in substantive representation of minorities than descriptive representatives elected to parliament either as members of mainstream parties or through pre-electoral arrangements of minority parties with mainstream political parties.

    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416650252   open full text
  • "Im Paying, So I Decide": Czech ANO as an Extreme Form of a Business-Firm Party.
    Kopecek, L.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 02, 2016

    Business-firm parties founded on the initiative of a political entrepreneur are a phenomenon of growing importance in contemporary party politics. In practice, these are either commercial companies, whose structure is used for a political project, or new and separate organisations constructed on business principles. This article examines the case of Czech party ANO ("YES"), established by the owner of the Agrofert holding company Andrej Babiš. The party achieved remarkable success in the 2013 Czech general election. The opportunity for ANO’s success was provided by strong voter dissatisfaction, reinforced by the scandalous circumstances of the centre-right government’s fall. This context created a fertile ground for the introduction of a new entity espousing anti-party, anti-corruption, and anti-political sentiments. In ANO’s organisation and functioning, a strengthening of certain traits characteristic of this type of parties is apparent. A robust system for screening party members and representatives has been gradually put into place, and human resources–style techniques of psychological testing were employed at the party’s inception. Furthermore, the power in the party has been wholly centralised around the leader, and the party’s territorial structures assigned merely service tasks. ANO has also maximised its electoral-professional orientation. The strengthening of the typical traits of a business-firm party can be explained by reference to the party’s origin in the business environment and the notions entertained by its leader. In many respects, Babiš’s party has brought the organisational model of a business-firm party to its limits.

    June 02, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416650254   open full text
  • Mesmerized by Enlargement: The EUs Eastern Neighborhood Policy and New Member State Transition Experience.
    Lightfoot, S., Szent-Ivanyi, B., Wolczuk, K.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 02, 2016

    The accession of the East-Central European (ECE) countries carried a promise of enhancing and enriching the EU’s Eastern policy. The new member states had the strongest interests among EU member states to ensure that countries in the East are prosperous, stable, and democratic. Yet, the EU’s Eastern policy has been largely criticised for its ineffectiveness. So why have they not been able to address the shortcomings in the EU’s Eastern policies? The article argues that the ECE countries supported the way the EU’s Eastern policies were conceived and implemented because they saw it as a potent vehicle to promote their own transition experience not only in the region but also within the EU. We argue that the ECE states have experienced three types of challenges when promoting their transition experience. First, uploading to the EU level remained largely at a rhetorical level. Second, there are conceptual and practical difficulties in defining what constitutes transition experience and harnessing it, as well as coordinating its transfer between the ECE states. Finally, while using transition experience as the basis for their development assistance strategies, the ECE countries actually insufficiently conceptualised the "development" aspect in these policies. Being so driven by their own experience, they have not drawn the lessons from enlargement to use in a non-accession context, especially by incorporating the broader lessons with regard to development.

    June 02, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416632041   open full text
  • From the Orange Revolution to the Revolution of Dignity: Dynamics of the Protest Actions in Ukraine.
    Reznik, O.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 25, 2016

    The article examines the determinants for participation in two Ukrainian revolutions, the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2013–2014. These revolutions were proof of the social movement that accompanies post-communist transition in an Eastern European country. This social movement, in a transitional society in the process of redefining traditional ethno-cultural identities, defined a value-rational understanding of democracy and market economy. A result of Ukrainian government action, these two revolts (which occurred less than ten years apart) have both similar and different features. The methods of binary logistic regression used in this research reveal that both protests are the result of macroregional division and the Ukrainian population’s foreign policy priorities. However, in determining participation in the Orange Revolution, these factors also combined with principles of linguistic identity, age, and status differentiation. In contrast, participation in the Revolution of Dignity was shaped by support for democratic and market values.

    May 25, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416650255   open full text
  • Reconstruction as Revolution: Cultural Life in Post-World War II Krakow and Leipzig.
    Kunakhovich, K.
    East European Politics and Societies. March 14, 2016

    This article compares the process of cultural reconstruction in two of Eastern Europe’s major cities, Kraków and Leipzig, in the first half-decade after World War II. In both cities, it argues, reconstruction radically changed the cultural landscape even as it seemed to uphold the status quo. City officials rebuilt many of the artistic institutions they knew from the prewar era, but consistently privileged those that were publicly owned and "progressive." Such selective reconstruction greatly expanded state control over the arts while masking the fact that any change was taking place. It also made Kraków and Leipzig more alike: by accentuating each city’s leftist traditions, local officials fostered a cultural convergence without eliminating national difference. Their work was instrumental in the rise of East European communism. Grassroots reconstruction not only paved the way for cultural revolution but also helped to forge the Soviet Bloc.

    March 14, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325415599193   open full text
  • Seeking Justice for Wartime Sexual Violence in Kosovo: Voices and Silence of Women.
    Di Lellio, A.
    East European Politics and Societies. February 22, 2016

    At different times, and for different reasons, Kosovo informal and organized women’s networks have dealt with wartime sexual violence in different ways: they have followed either a strategy of silence or one of speech. Throughout, they have struggled to disentangle gender from ethnicity, straddling the line between a deep connection with local culture and domestic and international norms and agendas. This article tells their story, which in broader terms is the story of the subjectivity of women’s rights activists—domestic and international—as it connects with the normative framework of transitional justice. The case of Kosovo shows that transitional justice meaningfully engages local actors as a human rights project sensitive to political change, more than as a "toolkit" which packages truth, reconciliation and justice with recipes for implementation. The case of Kosovo also confirms that lobbying by women’s networks is crucial to the inclusion of women’s perspectives in transitional justice, and that the exclusion of women from decision making results in a net loss for women’s concerns. I would take the argument even further, and suggest that the inclusion of women and their agendas, as well as the struggle by women’s networks for inclusion, is necessary for human rights transformation.

    February 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416630959   open full text
  • The Role of Ballot Ranking: Preferential Voting in a Nationwide Constituency in Slovakia.
    Spac, P.
    East European Politics and Societies. February 22, 2016

    This article deals with ballot order effect in preferential voting in general elections in Slovakia. Previous research in this field has primarily focused on countries whose elections are based either on single-member districts or on lists with fewer candidates. This article aims to analyze a case of a different nature. Slovakia uses a proportional representation list system with a single nationwide constituency where all 150 members of parliament are elected. Hence, most of the political parties create lists with a high number of candidates, which according to theory should enhance the influence of ballot ranking. Using data from Slovak general elections between 2006 and 2012 with a sample of 7,587 candidates, this study provides strong evidence of the impact of ballot order on the results of preferential voting. The analysis in this article shows the existence of both the primacy and recency effects, that is, a positive bias of voters towards candidates listed at both top and bottom positions on a list. What is more, the multilevel models used in this article demonstrate that support for top-ranked candidates significantly increases as the size of the list increases. For the bottom-listed candidates, this trend is rather the opposite. These findings represent a valuable contribution to the debate in this area as they provide insight into the role of ballot order in electoral systems that use lists composed of numerous candidates.

    February 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416631802   open full text
  • Corporate State Capture in Open Societies: The Emergence of Corporate Brokerage Party Systems.
    Innes, A.
    East European Politics and Societies. February 11, 2016

    Investigations into Central Europe’s emerging party–state relationships—in contrast to those of the former Soviet Union—have focused less on the abuse of public office for private gain and more on patronage and clientelism as political resources. That debate in turn has been bounded by the conventional political science preoccupation with civil society, party, and state relations. This article contends that these conventions have tended to deflect our attention from the contemporary dynamics of political corruption in Central Europe, in which the commercial sector is a major player and the gains of political players primarily private. Building on the assumption that party systemic adaptations are contingent on changing power relations within the political economy, this article offers an ideal typical party model to characterise the behaviour of political parties that preside over the continuous marketization of the state. A "corporate brokerage party" directs its strategic focus to the private sector and acts primarily as a broker of the state’s power in the marketplace, whether expressed through privatisation, regulation, or public procurement. Using the Czech Republic as a critical case study for Central Europe, the evidence suggests that politicians able to direct allocation to the private sector with low regulatory constraints act less evidently as technocratic brokers of the public interest, partisan constituency, or organisation builders and more as private agents.

    February 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325416628957   open full text
  • Parties, Ideology, and News Media in Central-Eastern and Western Europe: A Comparison of Media Bias Twenty Years after the Fall of the Iron Curtain.
    Castro-Herrero, L., Hopmann, D. N., Engesser, S.
    East European Politics and Societies. February 07, 2016

    This study assesses the degree and direction of media bias towards political parties in Central-Eastern and Western European democracies. Previous research has argued that despite policy efforts to detach the media from the political domain, journalism in former Eastern Bloc countries is still characterized by a more partisan style than in Western Europe. Our analysis employs data from the European Parliament Election Study 2009 (EES) and the European Media Systems Survey 2010 (EMSS), covering 187 parties and more than 120 media outlets in fifteen Western and ten Central and Eastern media systems across the European Union. To analyze partisan media bias, we look at (1) how well audience patterns correlate with partisan preferences of media users and (2) the extent to which media outlets favour specific parties according to experts. Contrary to our hypotheses, the results show that levels of media bias in Central and Eastern Europe are similar to those in Western Europe. We also find that left–right party ideology predicts media bias in the latter, but not in the former. Our findings question the general assumption that partisan media bias is higher in "the East" and challenge the widespread belief that a long tradition of media commercialization, as found in "the West," leads to less political media bias.

    February 07, 2016   doi: 10.1177/0888325415625090   open full text
  • National-European Theology: The Polish Catholic Hierarchy's Narrative of a Christian Europe.
    Smolenski, N.
    East European Politics and Societies. November 01, 2015

    An influential contingent of Catholic clergy in Poland reacted to Poland’s entry into the European Union by developing a narrative positing the Catholic foundation and ownership of Europe and all its constituent "nations." This narrative, which I call national-European theology, identifies the Catholic Church as the progenitor of both European and Polish existence and guarantor of their continuity of identity. In this way, it remedies some Catholics’ anxieties about both the integrity of Poland’s national sovereignty and the allegedly secularizing and liberalizing cultural influence of other EU member countries. I argue that national-European theology can be fruitfully conceived as a hereditary ownership narrative, framed by moments of spiritual foundation and subsequent inheritance from spiritual founders, and that this narrative structure characterizes both nationalism writ large and Europeanization as an analogous modern identitarian project. I suggest that taking heredity as a lens through which to understand nationalism and its attendant notions of legitimation allows us to move past debates about the "content" of nationalist claims (ethnic, religious, linguistic, etc.) and toward the mechanism by which group reproduction is culturally defined and sanctioned. To do this, I first sketch a theory of nationalism as a hereditary ownership narrative, drawing upon the Polish case, and liken it to the "Europe-building" project of the EU. Second, I present a brief historical outline of Poland’s accession to the EU and the anxieties generated thereby. Finally, I turn to the rhetoric of the Polish clergy who best represent the national-European current in contemporary Catholic political theology.

    November 01, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0888325415605889   open full text
  • The Limits and Ambiguities of the Albanian "National Question" in Post-communism: Political Parties, Albanian Nationalism, and External Actors.
    Barbullushi, O.
    East European Politics and Societies. October 21, 2015

    This article interrogates the mobilization of the Albanian national question in Albania in 2012. The two interrelated questions of the article are why the nationalist card is not used consistently and why it failed to trigger a policy debate, or lead to policy changes. The main argument of the article is that, more than a policy alternative, "national unification" is a discursive practice performing two functions: Externally, it signals sovereignty and subjectivity to the international community in Albania, primarily the European Union (EU) and the United States, and as such it is used for political leverage, particularly at critical moments. Internally, it aims at constructing national cohesion, while drawing identity lines between the main political parties. This is particularly the case in moments of political instability, juncture or pressure, as before elections. However, its limited ability to inform policy and mobilize political action results not only from the demobilizing power of international actors, for example, the EU and the United States, but also the dominant position that a specific discourse of "good Albanian nationalism" holds in the political debate in post-communist Albania.

    October 21, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0888325415611950   open full text
  • Vulnerability and Economic Re-orientation: Rhetoric and in Reality in Hungary's "Chinese Opening".
    Jacoby, W., Korkut, U.
    East European Politics and Societies. October 14, 2015

    To what extent do Euroskeptic parties in Eastern and Central Europe have viable alternatives to the European Union and the broad basket of liberal policies promoted by the EU? In recent years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has used his overwhelming parliamentary majorities to chart a partially new course, and this article inventories one aspect of this new course. The article asks whether Hungary can gain any potential benefits from closer links to China as a partial replacement for resources that might not be available (or that might be lost) from its more conventional European partners to the west. Orbán has often justified both radical constitutional change and economic nationalism as powerful medicines to push back against Hungary’s vulnerability at the hands of its foreign and domestic enemies. In this context, China emerged as both a potential source of new revenue and rhetorical trope that seemed to fit in a broader Fidesz discourse of an "Eastern opening." This article makes a first attempt to separate rhetoric and reality. It first explores how the ongoing consolidation of illiberalism in Hungary has now also sparked a geopolitical repositioning through the "Eastern opening" during Fidesz’s second term.

    Second, it seeks to understand the theoretical proposition that new sources of external funding—including FDI and government bond purchases—can help enable a state to execute such a broad geopolitical shift. To do so, it develops empirical material from the fascinating Hungarian efforts to position themselves as a major beneficiary of Chinese engagement with Europe. The article concludes that Orbán’s policies have indeed been broadly consistent with his party’s new rhetoric, but it also concludes that the amount of Chinese investment is, in aggregate, still modest to date.

    October 14, 2015   doi: 10.1177/0888325415604355   open full text
  • Electoral and Non-Electoral Participation in the Visegrad Countries: Complements or Substitutes?
    Novy, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 15, 2014

    The problem of low turnout at elections has become common in almost all post-communist countries. Given this weak participation in elections, some political scientists tend to see a crisis of emerging post-authoritarian political systems. Nevertheless, political participation, frequently considered to be the heart of democracy, should not be reduced to casting a ballot alone. This article makes an effort to discuss turnout more comprehensively. It aims at the association of this basic mode of civic engagement with less conventional political activities. Analysing European Social Survey data gathered in the Visegrad Four, the most advanced region in the former Eastern Bloc, it tries to address the issue of whether people who are active at a polling station simultaneously perform other activities in the broad repertoire of political participation. In other words, do active voters in the specific context of Central Europe also take part in different political actions, so that the relationship between participatory modes can be seen as tending to be complementary, or do voting and other forms of political action show little correlation?

    May 15, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414532496   open full text
  • The Anguish of Repatriation: Immigration to Poland and Integration of Polish Descendants from Kazakhstan.
    Grzymała-Kazłowska, A., Grzymała-Moszczyłska, H.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 15, 2014

    Repatriation remains an unsolved problem of Polish migration policy. To date, it has taken place on a small scale, mostly outside of the state’s repatriation system. Thousands of people with a promised repatriation visa are still waiting to be repatriated. The majority of the repatriates come from Kazakhstan, home to the largest population of descendants of Poles in the Asian part of the former USSR. They come to Poland not only for sentimental reasons, but also in search of better living conditions. However, repatriates—in particular older ones—experience a number of problems with adaptation in Poland, dominated by financial and housing-related issues. A further source of difficulties for repatriates, alongside their spatial dispersion, insufficient linguistic and cultural competencies, and identity problems, is finding a place on and adapting to the Polish labor market. Despite their difficult situation and special needs, the repatriates in Poland are not sufficiently supported due to the inefficiency of administration and non-governmental institutions dealing with the task of repatriates’ integration. It results in the anguish of repatriation.

    May 15, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414532494   open full text
  • In the Shadow of Smolensk Catastrophe--The 2010 Presidential Election in Poland.
    Czesnik, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 14, 2014

    The tragic events of 10 April 2010 became one of the most important topics of public discourse in Poland. Until today they are its central issues. This paper is an attempt to investigate one aspect of the phenomenon: the impact of the disaster and the following events on the presidential election of 2010. It is based on the results of research carried out within the Polish National Election Study (PNES) project. Due to at least three reasons, it is plausible to believe that the Smolensk catastrophe had a great impact on Polish politics. Firstly, the disaster had legal and constitutional consequences; the sudden death of the head of state always generates a number of specific actions, policy changes, and (most importantly from the perspective of this paper) determines the election calendar. Secondly, the disaster had psychological consequences; it caused a strong psychological shock for the participants of political process, which redefined political competition, public discourse, and the media coverage. Thirdly, narratives about the events preceding the crash and following it quickly became an important element of Polish politics, especially in the media and in the electoral campaign. The main finding of the paper is that the Smolensk catastrophe did not produce a fundamental change in political preferences and voting patterns of Polish citizens. At both aggregate level and individual level we observe relative stability of voter turnout patterns and voting preferences. The paper also finds that the catastrophe strengthened the existing preferences and behavior patterns, and it petrified existing divisions. This paper is a study of voting behavior in extreme situations. It analyses the unique phenomenon—voting in the huge social trauma and right after it. Thus, in addition to the idiographic objective of the paper (explanation of the voting behavior in the 2010 presidential election in Poland), it also has some nomothetic aspect, because it contributes to the theoretical discussions about voting behavior in traumatic, exceptional situations. It can become a reference point for future studies addressing the issue of electoral behavior in unexpected, unusual contexts.

    May 14, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414532492   open full text
  • Commemorating Young Victims of World War II in Poland: The Forgotten Children's Camp in Litzmannstadt/Łodź.
    Stałczyk, E.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 06, 2014

    This article analyses the public commemoration of young victims of World War II in Poland. In particular, it examines the various practices of remembrance associated with Polen-Jugendverwahrlager, the notorious children’s camp established by the Nazis on the territory of Litzmannstadt Ghetto in 1942. While investigating state-sanctioned and local initiatives, undertaken both under Communism and after its fall, this article poses salient questions about Poland’s politics of memory and the role of various actors, such as the state, survivors, and local nongovernmental organizations, in its making. Whilst acknowledging the historical and cultural significance of children, this article also contributes to the ongoing debate on the revision of history that occurred in Poland after the fall of Communism.

    May 06, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414532495   open full text
  • Gustaw Herling-Grudziłski and the Blood Libel Legend: From Overvisibility to Oversight.
    Tokarska-Bakir, J.
    East European Politics and Societies. April 23, 2014

    The Jewish origin of Gustaw Herling-Grudziłski, one of the greatest modern Polish writers, has remained a taboo in Poland for years. The Jewish thread was never significantly thematised in his work. The strength of dismissal of this matter from his consciousness as a writer—together with the panic caused within the Polish literary milieu by the confirmation of rumours about his "foreign origin"—speaks for itself and indirectly illustrates the attitude to otherness that still prevails in mainstream Polish literature. In this article, I would like to explore the author’s literary/biographical strategy, which is outlined in two stories set in the Late Middle Ages. Both of them are based on the so-called blood libel in its early variant, which consisted of accusing Jews of desecrating the host.

    April 23, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414530150   open full text
  • The Bulgarian Constitutional Court as an Additional Legislative Chamber.
    Hanretty, C.
    East European Politics and Societies. April 17, 2014

    Although not the most prolific of courts, the Bulgarian Constitutional Court (BCC) has now made enough decisions for us to begin characterising its decision making. Generally, decision making on the BCC is characterised by a low caseload dominated by referrals from parliament, by a high level of dissent, and by dissent that in turn is characterised by a disagreement between left- and right-wing judges. I make these claims on the basis of an analysis of BCC decisions over the period 1991 to 2010, and in particular on the basis of an analysis of judges’ dissenting votes as the expression of an underlying latent trait. I argue that this latent trait should be interpreted as a left–right dimension, both because the positions on this latent dimension match descriptions of judges’ politics and the politics of those who appointed, and because court majorities from the right end of the recovered dimension are often found when ruling in favour of right-wing opposition groups. On the basis of these findings, I argue for an interpretation of the BCC as an additional legislative chamber, comparable in this respect to the French Conseil Constitutionnel.

    April 17, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414530149   open full text
  • Institutional Reforms and Moravian Identity in the Czech Republic.
    Murphy, R.
    East European Politics and Societies. March 28, 2014

    In the first federal and national elections after the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia, supporters for Moravian autonomy achieved significant levels of representation and obtained nearly a quarter of the vote in Moravia itself. This movement was short-lived. The Czech Republic would not become a federal state and the Moravian movement disintegrated. Scholars have suggested that the Moravian movement was a temporary phenomenon linked to the collapse of communism. It is argued in this article that the economic, historical and cultural bases for a Moravian movement pre-date the post-communist euphoria. Instead, the decline of the movement can be attributed in part to governmental decisions motivated by a fear of further state disintegration after the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Institutional changes with the creation of the Senate and the Kraj have been explained by party politics and by Czech–EU relations. In this article, it is argued that these reforms were also motivated by a desire to weaken Moravian identity. The Moravian autonomy movement has collapsed but economic, historical, and cultural distinctions remain. Furthermore, despite these reforms, there are differences in the electoral behavior of Moravians and Bohemian that could serve as the potential base for future regional mobilization.

    March 28, 2014   doi: 10.1177/0888325414526234   open full text
  • Ghosts of the Habsburg Empire: Collapsing Currency Unions and Lessons for the Eurozone.
    Gross, S. G., Gummer, S. C.
    East European Politics and Societies. August 14, 2013

    Today the Eurozone faces financial and economic problems that, if left untended, threaten the fate of the EU itself. Several paths lay open to European leaders: deeper integration, more piecemeal crisis resolution, or a possible exit from the Euro of one or more countries. Yet there are few historical examples of a currency union break-up that we can use to understand implications of the third option. This essay draws lessons from the collapse of the Habsburg Empire after World War I—the best historical case study of a disintegrating currency union—for the Eurozone. The creation of new national currencies in Central Europe in the 1920s came at a very high cost, took years to stabilize, involved extensive international monitoring, created great risks for Europe’s multinational banking enterprises, and helped create the conditions for economic instability in the 1930s. European leaders could expect similar challenges to arise were Greece, Portugal, or Spain to exit the Eurozone today. One crucial factor absent in the 1920s, and still absent today, was and is a robust European-wide financial regulatory system. Ultimately, the Habsburg case study suggests that the economic costs of preserving the Euro and creating such a banking system would be much lower than those arising from allowing one or more countries to leave the currency union.

    August 14, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413499626   open full text
  • ANDRICISM: An Aesthetics for Genocide.
    Mahmutcehajic, R.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 30, 2013

    Andric’s fiction is closely identified with Bosnia and often taken for a faithful reflection of that country’s culture, social relations, and tragic history. Rather than reflecting Bosnian pluralism, however, his oeuvre undermines its very metaphysical underpinnings, in part because his works are so firmly rooted in the European experience of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the perspective of a dominant modernity, certain cultures and peoples came to be presented as un-European, Oriental, and essentially foreign. Bosnia, which had always been a religiously plural society, now became one where ideological models excluded its Muslim inhabitants. In line with long-standing European practice, Andric drew an image of the Bosnian Muslim as Turk and the Turk as Bosnian Muslim, converting the real content of Bosnian society into a plastic material for the ideologues of homogenous societies to use in modelling external and internal enemies that were essentially identical. This process required as its precondition the destruction of that enemy through a process described as the social and cultural liberation of the Christian subject. Over time, this exclusion took on forms now termed genocide. In creating this image, Andric deployed narrative techniques whose function may fairly be characterized as the aesthetic dissimulation of our ethical responsibilities towards the other and the different. Such elements from his oeuvre have been used in the nationalist ideologies anti-Muslimism serves as a building block. In this paper, certain aspects of the ideological reading and interpretation of Andric’s oeuvre are presented.

    July 30, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413494773   open full text
  • "Potemkin Europeanisation"? Dynamics of Party Competition in Poland and Hungary in 19982004.
    Mikulova, K.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 30, 2013

    After the EU’s Eastern enlargement of 2004, it became clear that some of the reform in the former candidate countries resembled a Potemkin village: behind a gleaming façade lingered a grimmer reality. Party politics in Central Europe proved to be a case in point. The following article argues that party systems in the region only underwent "Potemkin Europeanisation"—essentially enjoying a "liberal consensus" thanks to a "camouflage effect" of the Europeanisation processes—in 1998–2004. Using case studies of party competition in Poland and Hungary in 1998–2004, it draws broader theoretical conclusions about the persistence of traditional cleavages as organizing principles of party systems in Central Europe, as well as the nature of EU influence on the modus operandi of party politics in candidate countries.

    July 30, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413496424   open full text
  • Women's Parliamentary Representation in the Czech Republic: Does Preference Voting Matter?
    Stegmaier, M., Tosun, J., Vlachova, K.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 24, 2013

    The U-shaped trajectory of women’s parliamentary representation in Central and Eastern Europe over the post-communist era has generated interest among scholars and non-governmental organizations. One particularly interesting case of the recent increase in women’s parliamentary representation can be found in the Czech Republic. After the initial post-communist drop in representation, the proportion of female members of parliament (MPs) hovered around 15 percent for nearly 15 years. However, in the 2010 parliamentary election, something happened. After years of little change, the percentage of women MPs jumped from 15.5 percent to 22 percent. What caused this increase? Here, we conceive the 2010 elections as a "natural experiment" and discuss the primary factors that produced such an increase: the change in preference voting rules, activities of non-governmental organizations, and the political context surrounding the election. To test the effectiveness of these factors, we carry out a multi-method research design based on original data. We find that the reduction in the preference vote share threshold required to move up the ballot benefitted female candidates more than men in the 2010 election.

    July 24, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413494771   open full text
  • How Bosnia Changed Paddy.
    May, J.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 22, 2013

    As parliamentarian during the Bosnian war, witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and finally as politician with considerable executive power in the role of High Representative, the length and multifaceted nature of Paddy Ashdown’s interaction with Bosnia and Herzegovina is atypical. This rarity provides a unique opportunity to examine the factors that influence a politician’s views and understanding of a foreign country and examine how and why they oscillate and develop over time. By first identifying the preconceptions and misjudgements which Ashdown entered the realm of the Bosnian war with in 1992, this paper examines the aforementioned stages in Ashdown’s interactions with the country and subsequently provides a political evolution of his views from 1991 to 2006.

    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413495890   open full text
  • Making of the Zionist Woman: Zionist Discourse on the Jewish Woman's Body and Selfhood in Interwar Poland.
    Mickute, J.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 19, 2013

    The majority of scholarly debates on varieties of Jewish nationalism focus on the Jewish man’s role in the rebuilding of the Jewish homeland and his body in the regeneration of the Jewish nation. This article discusses Zionism’s gender politics surrounding the Jewish woman’s body and selfhood in this rebirth process and the formation of a modern Jewish identity in interwar Poland. It explores Jewish patriarchal structures and the discursive power and reach of Zionist ideology. Jewish women engaged not only in the ideological rebirth of the Jewish nation, they also initiated the physical rebirth of the Jewish Woman who was deemed too urban and thus degenerate (the modern Jewish woman was viewed as possessing next to no ideological consciousness and physical strength). Therefore, Zionist female ideologues argued that the bodily rebirth of Jewish women would lead to the strengthening of their Jewish identities and inevitably the Jewish stock. While still in the Diaspora, women had to work on developing strong healthy bodies, inasmuch as Zionist men were expected to make themselves into strong muscular Jews to be able to immigrate to Palestine and work there productively. Besides being able to work in Palestine alongside Jewish men, nationalist Jewish women had to be strong and healthy for one more reason: they had to be able to give birth to healthy children, which in the Zionist context meant giving birth to a healthy Jewish nation.

    July 19, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413493113   open full text
  • Rediscovering the Mediterranean Characteristics of the Croatian Media System.
    Perusko, Z.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 19, 2013

    The article presents the analysis of the Croatian post-socialist media system within the comparative framework of Hallin and Mancini’s approach. The media system and the political system are analyzed with the cluster of variables, interpreting the development of the media market, political parallelism, journalistic professionalism, and the role of the state in relation to the existing theoretical framework. The paper demonstrates a perfect fit with the Mediterranean polarized pluralist model of media system, and argues that the Croatian case disproves the proposition that Hallin and Mancini’s model cannot be applied to new democracies in post-communist Europe. The communist period in Croatia provided nuance to an already existing framework of media system, while the post-communist transition after 1990 and ensuing democracy continue to exhibit the historically determined relationships between politics and the media. The article argues in conclusion that ignorance of the true nature of media systems and social and political frameworks that shape them are the reason for the failed internationally assisted democratization processes and successful implementation of foreign media regulation models.

    July 19, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413494770   open full text
  • "In Sunshine and Joy"? The Story of Medem Sanatorium in Miedzeszyn.
    Kozlowska, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 15, 2013

    Medem Sanatorium in Miedzeszyn was one of the most famous establishments of TSYSHO, the Central Yiddish School Organization, in interwar Poland. Although not officially associated with the Bund, it unofficially promoted Bundist ideals through its teaching staff. This article aims to examine the educational methods of Medem Sanatorium in Miedzeszyn. Medem served as a central space for Bundist ideology, attracting such figures as Polish radical socialist Wanda Wasilewska, and hosting, among others, a young Marek Edelman, the future leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Showing the activities and struggles of the institution the author touches different problems of the Polish interwar period: the entanglement of Bundist ideology, everyday life, religious practices, and, last but not least, politics towards Yiddish. Ultimately, the author underlines that the Medem Sanatorium was a part of a broader action concentrated on creating a new secular Jewish culture.

    July 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413494772   open full text
  • Social Interests, Policy Networks, and Legislative Outcomes: The Role of Policy Networks in Shaping Welfare and Employment Policies in Serbia.
    Vukovic, D., Babovic, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 15, 2013

    The article analyzes how various societal interests and groups influenced employment and social policies in contemporary Serbia. These policies were shaped under the influence of international actors and current mainstream ideas. However, various societal interests and interest groups have affected them. Using policy network analysis, we identified key actors, their interests and ideological preferences, and the influence they exerted on the employment and welfare policies. The research indicates that the potential for the redistribution of power and resources is a trigger for establishing policy networks. In the field of social welfare we identify a stable policy network connecting various professional groups (from the public sector, academia, and the nongovernmental sector). There was a lack of other social interests in the debate, that is, welfare beneficiaries or civil society pressures that would influence policy process. The policy network was thereby primarily based on clearly identified interests of professional groups, and new welfare policies redefined and improved their professional and social status. In the field of employment policies, there was a lack of societal interests and organized interests groups that would influence policy process and outcomes. No policy network was identified, and obviously key actors in shaping of employment and labor policies (i.e., economic elites) were not even among the direct participants in the process. During the course of the policy reforms, direct and specific redistributive interests of groups that could have benefited from the new policies had mediated various policy inputs and at the end prevailed over the broader ideological frameworks.

    July 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413495088   open full text
  • State Strategies of Resisting Social Accountability: Post-Soviet Insights.
    Varga, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. July 09, 2013

    This article contributes to growing research about the emergence of the rule of law, or horizontal accountability, still a salient difference between Western institutionalized democracies and the new democracies in post-communist Eurasia. Recent research has theorized "social accountability" as a possible mechanism linking public campaigning by civic associations with the activation of institutions of horizontal accountability. By reviewing the recent public campaigns of various associations in post-Soviet Ukraine, this article "turns the lens" of such research by focusing less on the characteristics of the civil society actors mobilizing to bring about accountability and more on the state itself. It argues that the prospects for horizontal accountability have to be judged against a wide range of containment measures that states attempt in order to demobilize public opposition to their policies. Such measures operate through "twisted legality," a set of measures policing protests through means that are largely legal but specifically target protesters in ways that could not function were state powers indeed separated (for instance, if the police apparatus were to operate on the basis of legal mandates issued by independent courts). Furthermore, the goal of policing actions is to push protesters "out of legality," in ways that I describe below.

    July 09, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413493114   open full text
  • Democracy in Transition: Securing Human Rights through Administrative Justice in Ukraine.
    Gunderson, G. G., Beaty, L., Gladkyy, O.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 17, 2013

    Reforming a totalitarian state requires the changing of old institutions to new democratic ones, establishing new democratic procedures, changing people’s mindsets and introducing new democratic values. Many observers claim that Ukraine, the second-most populous country of the former Soviet Union, has fallen short of making meaningful democratic reforms. While much work in this regard remains to be done, it would be unfair to claim that Ukraine has not made any advancement with regard to democratic reforms. In this article, we describe and analyze broadly the correlation between the establishment of the new administrative court system in Ukraine and the ability of asylum-seekers to gain asylum status as evidence of intentional democratic reforms. The findings, which derive from data gathered from the Ukraine Register of Court cases from May 2009 through May 2010, suggest that Ukraine has implemented such reforms slowly and awkwardly. However, we suggest that Ukraine’s recent establishment of an administrative court reveals that deliberate, albeit cautious, steps have been taken to limit the power of the current government and hold it responsive and responsible towards the people.

    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413486514   open full text
  • The Kidnapping of Wroclaw's Dwarves: The Symbolic Politics of Neoliberalism in Urban East-Central Europe.
    Cervinkova, H.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 17, 2013

    In this paper, I draw on the approach to the study of "actually existing liberalisms" with an example from contemporary urban east-central Europe. I focus on the city of Wroclaw, a success story of Poland’s economic urban transformation, and consider the symbolic politics embodied in the city’s promotional strategy as a tool of ongoing neoliberal restructuring. I argue that an important feature of the city’s symbolic politics is the commodification and fetishization of dwarves, the historical symbols of an antitotalitarian movement that used the image of a dwarf as a means for people’s deliberative and performative action that helped lay foundations for democracy. Today, the historical legacy of dwarves as a means of associational and performative action has been disguised in the city’s promotional strategy, which has turned dwarves into commodities that help sell the city on the global neoliberal market of intercity competition. I call this process of contemporary fetishization, the kidnapping of Wroclaw’s dwarves. Kidnapping refers to the process whereby the symbol’s meaning and historical legacy is turned into a commodity, disempowering it by depriving it of its meaning for social action. At the conclusion of my paper, I offer a critical ethnographic and pedagogical perspective focused on symbolic politics as a venue for understanding and inspiring critical action in the context of these urban neoliberal developments.

    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413488627   open full text
  • Private Suffering, Public Benefit: Market Rhetoric in Poland, 1989-1993.
    Kochanowicz, J.
    East European Politics and Societies. June 17, 2013

    This article analyzes the pro-market rhetoric of the early phase of the post-communist transformation in Poland. It looks at one case of such rhetoric, that of the Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza, a leading Polish paper medium. Gazeta was an unequivocal supporter of the market transition and perhaps the country’s most important pro-market opinion-forming platform. In order to convince its readership, it argued, in a vein similar to that of the early nineteenth-century classical economists, that this was the only way to achieve an efficient economy but that, in the short run, social costs and suffering were unavoidable. In its rhetoric, it stressed logic and rationality as characteristics of the reform projects, while often using irony in reporting differing views. Critical voices it treated as either naïve or representing the vested interests of those opposing the reforms. The Gazeta editors and authors were in favor of rapid reforms, afraid that pain and suffering would mobilize resistance. They believed that the sooner the economic rebuilding process succeeded, the greater support there would be for the reforms. The danger they were most afraid of was right-wing, nationalist populism. Ironically, the type of policies they advocated, while economically successful, actually contributed to marginalization and social exclusion. Thus, as an overview of East-Central Europe politics shows, in the longer term they led exactly to what Gazeta was most afraid of.

    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413489146   open full text
  • Multiculturalism in Post-Ohrid Macedonia: Some Philosophical Reflections.
    Vasilev, G.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 16, 2013

    The Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) was supposed to herald a new era of multicultural coexistence in Macedonia following a short-lived civil war. However, antipathies between the Albanian minority and Macedonian majority run as deep as ever, frequently erupting into rioting which threatens the fragile peace on which coexistence is forged. This state of affairs appears to affirm at least one commonly voiced criticism against the OFA, namely, that the pluralisation of public life it set in place would further fragment, rather than unite, Macedonia’s diverse citizenry. This article sheds light on the persistence of volatile ethnic relations in Macedonia despite more than a decade of multiethnic democracy. It argues explanations blaming the OFA are misplaced, and that the source of Macedonia’s fraying ethnic relations lies with each community’s ongoing struggle for recognition. Under this account, conflicts are the outcome not simply of each community’s incompatible wants around access to sovereign power, prized employment, and other distributable resources but unredeemed idealisations of how they would like to be respected and esteemed by others. The article contends that such struggles for recognition are bringing Macedonians and Albanians to interact in a manner that stimulates a sense of profound wrong-doing at the hands of the other, which, in turn, serves to fuel interethnic antagonisms and widen the social distance between each group.

    May 16, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413484924   open full text
  • The Failure of Cohabitation: Explaining the 2007 and 2012 Institutional Crises in Romania.
    Gherghina, S., Miscoiu, S.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 15, 2013

    Built on concurrent claims of legitimacy, the semi-presidential constitutional framework is prone to conflicts between the office holders. Cohabitation is a particular instance in which the president’s party is not represented in government and he has to share executive power with a prime minister. Instead of producing a flexible dual-authority structure within the executive, cohabitation has always tended to generate institutional crises in Romania, ending with the impeachment of the president (2007 and 2012). This article identifies a combination of four factors leading to this outcome: legislative ambiguity, the composition of the legislature, the absence of external pressures, and the leaders’ personality.

    May 15, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413485621   open full text
  • "Tell Me What You Want":: Analyzing the Visegrad Countries' Votes in the UN General Assembly.
    Onderco, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. May 06, 2013

    This article sets out to study the voting pattern of the Visegrád countries in the United Nations General Assembly, since the beginning of their respective memberships, analyzing their voting affinity with the Soviet Union (Russia) and the United States. Somewhat predictably, Visegrád countries tended to be closer to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Surprisingly though, the pattern does not change drastically after the end of the Cold War, and Visegrád countries still tend to vote more closely with Russia than with the United States. Equally striking is the fact that Visegrád countries tend to vote almost identically, without any changes given domestic political changes. Pattern of higher agreement with Russia than with the United States can be seen also when inspecting the voting of all EU members. Such finding is relevant for the study of the geopolitical transformation of the Central European region, but also wider geopolitical dynamics in the UN General Assembly.

    May 06, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413484757   open full text
  • Impact of the "Holy Crash" on Trust in the Church in Slovenia.
    Smrke, M.
    East European Politics and Societies. February 26, 2013

    The 2011 Slovene Public Opinion Survey and World Values Survey have determined that trust in the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia has fallen to an all-time low in the post-independence era: only 25 percent of Slovenes expressed a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Church. This article considers how the Church’s social power has been impacted by the so-called Holy Crash, namely, the 2010 collapse of the Archdiocese of Maribor’s financial empire and its investments and interests in various enterprises controlled through its Gospodarstvo Rast financial management company. Revealed is the fact that, in recent years, trust has been eroded most in the Podravje (Drava) and Koroska (Carinthia) regions of Slovenia, both of which lie within the Maribor archdiocese. This decline supports the central hypothesis that the scandal and secrecy surrounding the collapse have negatively impacted trust in the Roman Catholic Church.

    February 26, 2013   doi: 10.1177/0888325413475478   open full text