The collapse of communism did not lead smoothly or quickly to the
consolidation of liberal democracy in Europe and the former Soviet
Union. At the time of regime change, from 1989 into the first few years
of the 1990s, popular democratic movements in the three Baltic states,
Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Eastern Germany, and western Czechoslovakia
translated initial electoral victories into consolidated liberal
democracy. These quick and successful democratic breakthroughs were
the exception, however. Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and eastern
Czechoslovakia (after 1992 known simply as Slovakia) failed to consolidate
liberal democracy soon after communism collapsed. Yet in time,
the gravitational force of the European Union did much to draw these
countries onto a democratic path.
Expanded version published in Russian as " Path of Postcommunist Transformation: Comparative Analysis of Democratic Breakthroughs in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine,"
in Pro et Contra, No. 2 (29) 2005, pp. 92-107