Political Parties and Movements in Central Europe

Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Richard Hofferbert: The Capacity of New Party Systems to Channel Discontent: A Comparison of 17 Formerly Communist Polities
In the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, to what extent does citizen satisfaction with the democracy as such? Further, to what extent are the new party systems in those countries able to accommodate the political discontents that exist within each country. The authors develop a three-part taxonomy of democratic satisfaction: satisfied democrats, dissatisfied democrats, and autocrats. They then investigate the extent to which each of these three groups support democratic or extremist political parties, or to which degree the argument is the assertion that dissatisfaction with or, necessarily, a failure of the democratic experiment, Results of empirical analyses support the conclusion that even in new democracies, carrying the common burdens of the former dictatorships, most of the dissatisfaction is channeled through the mechanisms of democratic party competition.

Wolfgang Merkel and Aurel Croissant: Formal Institutions and Informal Rules in Defective Democracies
The last quarter of the 20th century saw the worldwide advance of democracy. However, almost tree decades after the beginning of the third wave of democratization, the empirical evidence suggests that the “third wave of democratization” could become less a triumph of political liberalism but more of “defective” forms of democracy. The mainstream of theoretical and empirical ‘consolidology’ uses the dichotomy concepts of democracy versus autocracy. But this simple dichotomy does not allow for more differentiated judgments and conceptualizations of the structural and functional elements of the new hybrid regimes which have developed during the last decade. To overcome this theoretical shortcoming the articles presents a multidimensional concept of democracy that allows for distinguishing between liberal democracies based on the rule of law and defective, or illiberal, democracies, which violate import dimensions of democratic rule. We propose a three-dimensional typology for classifying three subtypes of defective democracies (exclusive democracy, tutelary democracy, illiberal democracy). Thereafter we focus on the subtype of illiberal democracy. We specifically ask: which are the defining characteristics of illiberal democracies, and which factors cause or enable their emergence. It is particularly the specific interdependence of formal institutions and informal institutional arrangements, which I some of the central features of illiberal democracies. This specific intertwining of formal and informal institutions are ofter decisive which the future development of illiberal democracies are to be expected.

Rafael Durán: Collective Action, Democracy and Democratization
By stating the comparability of Latin American, Southern and Eastern European transitions as a premise, the aim of this study is to deal with social mobilizations as crucial actors forcing the replacement of the dictatorship by a democratic regime, shaping the transition pathway, and when affecting the democratic nature of the regime which replaces the dictatorship. It deals firstly with tree different cases: Spain, Portugal and Chile, and largely focuses then upon Hungary and Romania. Some intuitions are finally introduces regarding Milosevic’s overthrow last October 2000.

Takeshi Hirata: The Party System Building and Electoral Volatility in Central Europe
Ten Years after the transition the democracy in the Central European countries, we are in a position to assess the degree of stabilization of the party systems in these countries. After examining the party constellation, the party membership and identification, and the electoral volatility, this article concludes that the Central European party systems have become stabilized from the viewpoint of the party systems have become stabilized from the viewpoint of the party constellation, but the voting behaviour of the electorate is still fluid which has been expressed in the high electoral volatility, not least due to the weak organizational ties between the parties and the voters. Nevertheless, after comparing these findings to the preceding southern European cases, the articles throes doubt upon the opinion according to which the pace of stabilization of party systems must be slower in Central European because of the “flattened” nature of the post-communist society.

Tamás Fricz: What Happen to the Parties?
In this paper the author attempts to find an answer to the question: What role, task and function are awaiting political parties in the modern sense of the term in the twenty-first century. The author expounds the growing criticism of the activities of parties I developed democracies in public discourse as well as in the literature of political science, in this respect the academic as well non-academic views are similar. On the other hand there have been changes in the functioning of the parties which are considered “classical”, certain well-known party functions are being pushed into the background, while different, hitherto less known functions gradually come into the foreground, moreover, they begin to pay a central role. Thus crisis close interrelationship, raising basic issues. These are the following: will the parties survive into the long run in the democracies of the twenty-first century? If they survive, how can they overcome their crisis symptoms and what there is to be a change of function how radical is it going to be, and what there is to be a change of function how the new parties of the Central European young democracies would enter the age bringing along crisis symptoms and potential changes of function of modern parties.

János Simon: The Interpretation of the Political Left and Right in Central Europe and Hungary
The first part of the study deals with the etymology and history of the political left and right. After some methodological introduction an analysis of the validity of left and right in post communist countries is given. In the last part done among the Members of the Hungarian Parliament. In the investigation four approaches were used: 1. the acceptance of the validity of left-right, 2. The self-placement on the left-right scale, 3. The ability to verbalize the literal meaning of the left-right, 4. The ability to link different values to the left and the right. It was found that the left and the right interpret the left or the right differently. The values were grouped according to the consensus about them on both sides. Thus two dimensions can be separated: the social dimension (social network, equality, social justice) is on the left, and the national dimension (defending the interests of the Hungarian minorities living in the neighboring countries, patriotism, defense of national interest) is on the right. The two dimensions are complementary to each other.

Máté Szabó: Movement and Countermovement Mobilization: the Gypsies and the Skinheads. Right Wing Racist, and Anti-Racist Protest Movements in Hungary (1988-1995)
The study presents some material to be discussed on the mobilization processes of right wing racist groups and of anti-racist movements in Hungary. The study focuses on the violent subcultures against ethic groups, skinheads, and on the other side on the anti-racist Martin Luther King Association. The reasons for racial violent do net seem to be located in a dramatic change of the ethnic composition of the Hungarian society, or in the ethnic groups living in Hungarian territory. On the Contrary, on the sides of the supporters and the actors of racist violence, many social and cultural processes connected with linger and shorter trends may be decisive for its explanation. The classical conditions of right wing mobilization develop in Hungary after 1989; relative deprivation, crisis, uncertainties, resentment of lower middle classes, the fear of loosing social status. Especially among the pupils of the socially and economically “sinkning” lower middle class, the socialization problems may bring a relevant circle in Budapest and bigger cities near to the violent racist subculture. The victims, especially the immigrant foreigners due to their temporary status in Hungary, are rather unorganized. The foreign students with different colour do not have much contact with the other, more numerous groups of the victims the Gypsy population and with its associations.

Ivan Bernik, Niko Tos and Samo Uhan: Ability of Party System to Absorb Popular Discontent: The Case of Slovenia
The article focuses on the hypothesis that in the Slovene party system parties differ significantly as far as their ability to absorb mass dissatisfaction with the democratic system performance and even anti-democratic sentiments are concerned. Precisely, the main opposition party (at the time when the survey was conducted) should attract most support the expectation implied in the hypothesis. Dissatisfaction with the democracy performance and anti-democratic orientations are highly dispersed among the supporters of different parties and there is no party in the Slovene party system which builds its political career by looking for support among the citizens who are either dissatisfied with democracy performance or reject democracy in general.

Ioan Marginean: Indicators of Democratization of Romania
Social support for democracy is measured by several indicator concerning the suitability and functionality of democracy in Romania. The research data show a relatively high degree of commitment of the population to democracy. Also there is a high level of commitment of the population to democracy. Also there is a highs level of criticism about how democracy in the future. It results from the political regime is maintained at high levels despite important dysfunction and economic difficulties. If we refer to the international level, the situation of Romania is in line with process of adaptation and consolidation of democracy from the third post-war wave and is explicable in terns of the initial paper of Barnes and Kaase.

Adrian J. Simon: Political Parties in Post-Communist Romania: Political Culture and Democratization
The analysis focuses on the party studies with the purpose of listing the factors that caused the differences that exist between Romania and the other Central European countries during the 90s. One of the most important characteristic elements of the Romanian post-communist parties is that they copy the West European parties only verbally, but they lack their behavioural and value-related background. The most important task of the Romanian parties is to create democratic behavioural forms and values.

Michal Klíma: Incomplete Democracy in the Czech Republic
In comparison with standard democracies and with other post-communist systems, the Czech Republic is distinguished by three central anomalies in the political dimension. The first of these is “incomplete democracy”. This phrase denotes a situation in which a serious deficit in the regeneration of the governing elite is manifested negatively. The second anomaly Is based on the excessive ideologization and polarization of the political an d non-political agenda, or rather of the political scene as a whole. The third anomaly may be referred to as “provincial egocentrism”.