Democratization in the Balkans: Prescription for a Badly Scarred Body Politic (Northeastern Series on Democratization and Political Development)

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9781555536916: Democratization in the Balkans: Prescription for a Badly Scarred Body Politic (Northeastern Series on Democratization and Political Development)

Richard P. Farkas provides the first comprehensive look at the post-Communist democratization process in the Balkans from short- and long-term domestic and external policy perspectives. Close examinations of the emergent democratic experience in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia since the end of the Balkan Wars highlight the dramatically varied and formidable economic, social, and political problems and international pressures that have plagued the democratization process in this region. Farkas recognizes both positive and negative consequences of democratization in the Balkans and presents his findings in lucid, accessible prose that will stimulate debate in the academy and among policy-makers.

The Balkan states have experienced tremendous difficulties in making the transition from faction-ridden, violent, and authoritarian societies to more democratic political systems. Significantly, in many respects, their efforts to rebuild in the face of ethnic conflict and to democratize may foreshadow what other states will likely experience.

The author concludes that within each of these societies, consensual and effective leadership must emerge and be empowered. This volume gauges the progress of democratization by comparing the various Balkan post-Communist societies, focusing on those elements that define a functioning democracy: tolerance, obligation, legitimacy, voice, constraint, and transparency. Students and scholars of Balkan history and politics will welcome this timely, path-breaking, and forward looking study.

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About the Author:

RICHARD P. FARKAS is Professor of Political Science at DePaul University, specializing in Russian and Central European politics and Russian-American relations. He has traveled and researched in Central and Eastern Europe for almost forty years, has served as a consultant to Eastern European governments undergoing democratic transitions, and is the author of numerous articles on Eastern Europe during and after Communist rule.

Review:

"The Balkans is today the most unstable region in stable and integrating Europe. Dr. Richard P. Farkas' book provides deep and realistic analysis of the situation in this complex area. For the outsiders the book helps to understand all the hurdles in creating viable democracy in the Balkans. For the people in the Balkans the book is an excellent guide how to avoid mistakes in the process of building a democratic system." -- Dr. Longin Pastusiak, Professor of Gdansk University,
Former President of the Polish Senate

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