Course date

14 July - 25 July, 1997
15 February, 1997
Course Director(s): 

Andras Bozoki

CEU, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Andrew Arato

New School University, New York, United States of America

Laszlo Bruszt

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Ivan Csaba

CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Zsolt Enyedi

Department of Political Science, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Radoslaw Markowski

Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, Poland

Tamas Meszerics

Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Ognayan Minchev

Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria

Kim Scheppele

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Institutionalists believe in the formative role of social and political institutions in shaping the present and future characteristics of new democracies. Institutions can be invented, reinvented, modified, transplanted, copied or simply maintained with regard to the country's past traditions or the existing international context. The purpose of this course is to systematically investigate the function of some principal political institutions in the epoch of post-communism by using mostly comparative, historical and structuralist approaches. The main question is not so much whether the institutions change their environment or their environment change them more significantly. What is more important here to study how they interact and what consequences can be drawn from this inter-action. In the early 1990s, there were bigger hopes about the impact of democratic institutions on the post-communist societies. Some recent studies, however, suggest a more pessimistic (or realistic) scenario concerning the "deepness" of democratic social transformation. For instance, Guillermo O'Donnell speaks about the "illusion of consolidation", Charles Gati about "the mirage of democracy" while Larry Diamond even claims that the "Third Wave" of democratization is, most probably, over. The question is whether this backlash exists, and if yes, what role is played here by the new institutions. To what extent can be these institutions "blamed" for the shortcomings of democracy, or rather, do these shortcomings appear despite the democratizing impact of the institutions? The notions of "delegative democracy" or "pseudo-democracy" are used more and more extensively in the region to describe the survival and vivid presence of nepotism, corruption, clientelism etc. The course will examine the main institutions and the way they operate. The two-week long, course includes morning lectures and seminars, plus two evening lectures for 4 credits altogether. The lectures will cover the structural conditions of democracy, the executive-legislative relations, the social and constitutional-legal institutions, the party systems and the corporate groups, the main features of the post-communist state, the bureaucracies and the mass media.