By Fritz Plasser
This publication is an summary of the most theories on democratic transformation and consolidation. international locations lined are the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia, with references to advancements in Russia and East Germany.
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Extra info for Democratic Consolidation in East-Central Europe
232). Perceived efficacy, on the other hand, is the equivalent of specific support as defined by Easton. ). The absence of preferable alternatives might temporarily compensate for insufficient diffuse legitimacy and create "legitimacy by default"; conversely, strong diffuse legitimacy could be reinforced by the absence of plausible alternatives to democratic government. They argue that a distinction between diffuse legitimacy and the perception of any plausible alternative is called for, at least in posttransitional states.
The Czech Republic, for instance, took steps towards both formal democracy and its consolidation before the dissolution of its union with Slovakia. In Spain, consolidation proceeded despite persistent terrorist attacks by the Bask separatist movement, ETA. Linz and Stepan emphasize the importance of offering rewards for the creation of multiple, rather than exclusive, ethnic identities during regime change. The key, they contend, is to hold national elections prior to any regional ones, since only the former can stimulate the formulation of national agendas and the organization of national parties.
We see an urgent need for empirical research to become more conceptually precise and standardized (What kinds and levels support exist? How should democratic stability be interpreted? ). Our most important conclusion, however, is that research on such attitudes will never advance beyond vague suppositions until we take structural, institutional and behavioral context variables into consideration in trying The Concept of Consolidation 33 to determine the extent to which and especially how and through which mechanisms attitudes impact political decision making.