The future of Europe – Central European Perspectives

Giovanni Sartori: Where is Political Science Going?
Any empirical, soft-like science, “softish” science, develops along two tracks. One is the theory-research track, that is, we have some theories, something in our minds, and we put it… we apply it to the finding of data, to the search for evidence. We want to know exactly what is there – so, theory-research dimension, or track. And the other, in my mind, is, instead, the theory-practice dimension. So there it’s not data finding, but knowing how to do: know-how. Knowledge for application; theory for practice. We want to be able or capable, otherwise our raison d’être becomes rather feeble. We want to be able or capable, to some extent, to predict, to give advice, and to implement reforms – if reforms are the case. What has happened is that in the search of becoming more and more scientific, American political science first, but then many of us in the wake, has developed almost exclusively (the normal science) along the theory-research track, and forgotten quite extensively about the theory-practice track. So we have a lot of research, enormous masses of data, however, non-cumulative – so there’s something wrong even there – but anyhow, we have evidence… It doesn’t add up together, but it allows any normal scientist with a computer to produce a paper. The computer works for him, and he makes a brief, more or less stupid comment, or intelligent comment. But the theory-research track has been largely neglected. And this means that we have a science without practical know-how. We have then, as I say, a know-how deficit. We have a science without practice. I call it “degreeism”, continuum mania, model mania – but we don’t have in present day political scientists, methodology. Our scholars do not know even how to classify; they confuse classifications with typologies; they don’t know how to construct a law-like generalization; they are uncertain as to how much an exception cripples a generalization

Philippe C. Schmitter: The Quality of Neo-Democracy in Central Europe
Thirteen years of hindsight teaches us that the democratization of Central Europe has not been that different from democratization in Southern Europe or Latin America. In this essay, my specific concern has been with measuring the “quality of democracy” and trying to discover – using the same normative criteria and scoring system – whether the “Easterners” have done worse (as many predicted) or better (as I have come to suspect) than their “Southern” predecessors. Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question definitively because the measurement instrument proved to be defective.  The information necessary to test for generic scalar relationships was simply too unreliable when scored by independent observers.  I then turn to an attempt to explain why this variable was so difficult to conceptualize, to operationalize and to quantify.  In conclusion, I propose an alternative approach to analyzing this increasingly fashionable variable.

János Simon: The Change of Function of Political Parties at the Turn of Millennium
The study consists of three parts: the first reviews the historic classifications of the parties; the second analyses the parties’ functions and their changes, while the third explains the latest trends and directions of party development. The author gives an account of Duverger’s, Neumann’s, Kircheimer’s Sartori’s, Katz’s and Mair’s methods for party classification and their views on the role of the parties. While doing so, he throws light on the meaning of such expressions as class party, elite party, mass party, integrational party, cath-all party, cartel party. Relying on Panebianco, the author makes a distinction among the modern party structures between the bureaucratic mass party and the so-called „electoral party”. A common mistake in the interpretation of the authors of the 20th century is that they all relied on the absolutesness of their theories and believed that the appearance of new roles and functions will be an absolute force which will erase without a trace all that is old. While, on the contrary, the old structures and functions of the parties still prevail. The second part examines the functions and functional changes of the parties in six respects: the functions of political socialisation, mobilisation, participation, legitimacy and political activity. The success of the intra-party reforms is effected on the one hand by the organisational structure and activity sphere of the parties and by the general circumstances of the political field on the other. Finally, the author interprets and systematises the latest trends and phenomena of party development: sucg new party movements as the one-purpose movements, self-expression and anti-globalisation movements and the media parties.

Paul G. Lewis: Inventing a New Europe: the Place of the East in the Context of EU Enlargement
On the eve of a new phase of enlargement of the EU, much of Europe seems to enjoy unparalleled prospects for concerted growth and harmonious development. The nature of this new Europe nevertheless remains ambiguous and there is confusion both of identity and purpose about the nature of the European Union, and one even greater in terms of its vision of the east. Existing disjunctures can be related both to the origins of the European Union and its current modes of operation, as well as to earlier divisions within the continent as a whole. European identity has been premised on the existence of antithetic others whose existence has had roots both within and outside the continent of Europe. The lack of clarity in terms of identity and purpose will affect the future development of Europe as a whole, as well as its capacity to overcome the divisions of the Cold War period.

Uros Pinteric: European Union – relations between Member States and Applicant Countries
Process of seeking EU membership opens number of economical and political questions which became current after the September 11th, because of instability in the world. Relation between national states and idea of joint Europe, the role of national interests, Convention, raise of right-wing political parties and relation between candidates and member states are just several themes discussed in this article. Intention of this critical judgment of above-mentioned themes is to become more realistic in process of association with European Union and consequently to become more prepare to fulfil obligations we get with accession to the European Union.

Tamás Fricz: What will happen to the left and right after the 11th of September?
The position of the left and right in the 21st century is changing radically. Its essence lies in the fact that while in the past 200 years or more, being leftist or rightist or the inclination towards either side had an orientating and motivating role, today the category is transformed into a political call whose role is informative rather than mobilising. The left-right category is changing into such an attitude, value system and ideology whose importance is increasingly given by the modern age traditions and the attachment to these traditions. In the 21st century the left and the right can be considered as political programmes or movements only to a lesser degree. Today it is rather like a conception of the world with either a leftist or a rightist order, into which one may be born or become associated with at a later stage. Summing up, it may be stated that the left-right category pair and the opposition will live on in the 21st century, but it will change its role in the society, in people’s life. The category pair will loose its very „sharp” political ideological content, its motivating, radical and identifying role and it will become a less spectacular, a typifying frame in the background. It will change into such a way of thinking, which will become obvious in certain political topics but normally will remain in the background.

Vladimir Rukavishnikov: The Russian Perception of the American „War on Terror„
In this paper we deal with the Russian perception of the American „war against terror„ started after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. The analysis is based on data of opinion surveys, official documents and messages conveyed to the public by the national electronic and printed media. We show how the Russian perception of the American „war on terror„ has changed during the first year of this war – from September 11th 2001 to September 11th 2002. The time frame of our analysis is very important, because it seems to us that the second year of the ‘global war against terrorism’ may differ dramatically from the first one.

Jacqueline Hayden: The collapse of communism in Poland: Strategic bungling or farsighted compromise?
Given that neither the Polish communist party (PUWP) nor the Solidarity opposition expected the fall of communism at the outset of the Round Table process in 1989 the question addressed here is what best explains the collapse of the party’s hegemony so shortly after its negotiators had concluded a deal they hoped would enable the government to carry out its economic reform programme. Adam Przeworksi and Josep Colomer offer conflicting accounts of regime change and democratic transition. Przeworski contends that transition follows from the mistakes of regime liberalisers who seek broadened dictatorship while Colomer posits that self-interested, farsighted and rational actors can play the main part in the transition to a democratic regime. This paper presents the results of a process-driven examination of a range of Round Table bargaining scenarios analyzed on the basis of a clearly defined set of observable implications that flow directly from the conflicting hypotheses of Przeworksi and Colomer. This analytic narrative approach seeks to track the gap between the PUWP’s strategic intention and the actual institutional outcome in each scenario examined. The evidence shows that over a range of bargains and scenarios the PUWP’Round Table strategies produced unanticipated outcomes, which therefore tends to support Przeworski’s hypothesis.

Karel Müller: Czechs and civil society: preconditions, problems and perspectives
In the last ten years the concept of civil society has become one of the most significant and controversial issue in the social science. The aim of the article is to present the empirical concept of civil society in the context of Czech modern history. The first part of the article gives an overwiev of the periods of emancipation of Czech civil society since 1848 till present and describes their characteristics. The second part gives an assessment of predicaments, prospects and tendencies of the civil society in the Czech republic in the current period. Author gives evidences about the lack of trust relations in Czech society, outlines the shape of crisis of trust and explains that it is the fundamental obstacle for building of robust civil society in Czech context.

Ferenc Miszlivetz – Jody Jensen: Transition Studies and Development Studies: The Role of East European Social Sciences
Development Studies were never very successful in the East and Central European countries before 1989, as they were formulated in Western Europe (primarily in Great Britain), Holland and Scandinavia) did not include the former Soviet bloc countries. Their major focus was the „underdeveloped” „Third World”.  During the consolidation period of social sciences in East Central Europe, new initiatives, incentives and innovations emerged outside of the „conventional” disciplines. The imbalanced yet approaching spectre of European Integration created a new market for knowledge on European affairs. As a part of this process, accession countries have begun to set up new institutions and frameworks, filling the vacuum where conventional institutions fail.  Developments at both the supranational and subnational levels have provoked social scientists. Lawyers, experts of public administration, economists, political scientists, sociologists and historians have begun to unite under the labels of European Studies and Regional Studies.