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The Politics of Central Europe
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The Politics of Central Europe

  • Attila Ágh - Budapest University of Economic Sciences, Hungary


June 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book provides a thorough introduction to East Central Europe and its renewed emergence since the momentous changes in the former Soviet bloc.

By carefully differentiating between Central Europe, East Central Europe and the Balkans, Attila [ac]Agh shows how the term `Eastern Europe' was a political misnomer of the Cold War. Drawing on theories of democratization to develop a common conceptual and theoretical framework, this textbook is the first to place the political and social changes of this complex region in a genuinely comparative perspective.

Through broad thematic sections the student is shown how to distinguish between processes of democratization and redemocratization, transition and transformation and is introduced to the important issues of Europeanization, nation-building, institutionalization, parties and political culture.

Illustrated throughout with chronological charts and the latest data analysis, this is an invaluable guide to the emerging political systems and their future prospects at the core of the new Europe.

 
PART ONE: AN INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW
 
The Central European and Balkan Regions in Transition
 
PART TWO: TRANSFORMATION IN EAST CENTRAL EUROPE AND THE BALKANS
 
Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe
 
The Triple Transition and Nation-Building
 
Building Institutional Democracy
Parliamentary and Presidential Systems  
 
The Role of Political Parties
Political Culture and Electoral Behaviour  
 
PART THREE: THE REGIONS IN COMPARATIVE TRANSITION
 
Re-democratization in East Central Europe
 
Democratization in the Balkans
 
PART FOUR: CONCLUSIONS AND PERSPECTIVES FOR THE FUTURE
 
The Future of Democracy in East Central Europe and the Balkans

`A masterly study of the contemporary politics of Central Europe by one of the region's leading authorities. It sets the study of post-communist politics firmly within a broad European framework and enriches the examination of national politics with a range of comparative and international perspectives. While succint and lively in its approach, it provides the student with a solid understanding of processes of nation-building and economic transformation as well as the new structures and processes of democratic life' - Paul Lewis, The Open University

`An excellent overview of democratization processes in the region.... Unlike many similar books, this study also includes an interesting analysis of Eastern European intra-regional co-operation and the prospects of the region for full European integration. In this respect, Agh's broad knowledge is very good and useful as are his series of charts, chronologies, tables and appendices included in the book, which will provide scholars and student alike with plenty of inspiration and information for their work.' - Journal of European Area Studies

`In this volume, Professor Agh seeks to achieve a number of objectives. The most important of these is to familiarize undergraduates with politics in the region. Another central objective is to do this in a properly comparative manner. A third is to provide practitioners with a more than useful teaching aid and textbook. In essence, all of these objectives are achieved.... It should be regarded as essential reading for undergraduates studying the area.' - Regional & Federal Studies

`This book is undoughtedly stimulating and useful for both teaching and research, not simply for the information it provides but for the strongly held arguments it makes and the questions it throws up....It is interesting- the sort of thing that encourages one to react, perhaps to disagree, but always to think' - Journal of Legislative Studies


". . .this book is undoubtedly stimulating and useful for both teaching and research, not simply for the information it provides but for the strongly held arguments it makes. . ." 

Tim Bale
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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