Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Stanford University


Publications




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Transitions from Postcommunism

Journal Article

Author
Michael A. McFaul - Stanford University

Published by
Journal of Democracy, Vol. 16 no. 3
July 2005


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