Reaching Back

Friday, 30 November 2018, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, IWM library
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have gone through great transformations in the last two centuries. Sudden breaks or changes of political regime, experiments with different types of state institutions imposed by rulers from above or from outside, incoherence in defining individual rights and freedoms… How can marks of a ‘deep past’ shape current outcomes of democratic state – building? The project Mechanisms of Modernization in Central and Eastern Europe (MeMo – CEE) hosts one of its public debates with specialists in democratic state building.

Michael Koss (University of Munich) asks how to accommodate oppositions without running the risk of democratic backsliding, both when they come into existence in the first place and over time. He introduces the example of Western European legislatures (1866–2015) and suggests that the central aim of procedural reforms in parliaments should be to maintain legislative democracy. Using an original dataset covering all European democracies since the formation of the French Second Republic in 1848, Fernando Casal Bértoa (University of Nottingham) will assess to what extent party systems have really changed over-time, what explains party system (de-) institutionalization and the rise of support for anti-political-establishment parties, as well as examine how economic political crisis have altered the way political parties interact. Antoaneta Dimitrova (Leiden University) discusses the dynamics of institutional rules and the interplay or formal and informal rules over time. She suggests that scholars should further examine the durability of institutional rules when faced with rent seeking networks embedded in state organizational structures.

Moderator: Veronica Anghel (IWM Visiting Fellow)

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