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Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering$
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Jan Zielonka

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199244081.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Institutional Engineering and Transition to Democracy

Institutional Engineering and Transition to Democracy

(p.3) 1 Institutional Engineering and Transition to Democracy
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering

Klaus von Beyme

Oxford University Press

Begins by pointing out that the concept of institutional engineering was not invented for the latest wave of transitions from dictatorship to democracy, but rather created for evaluating a democratic country at a time when it was in crisis. In Eastern Europe, a peculiar constellation of old and new elites led the way through the process of compromise between old and new forces and old and new institutions. Voters’ increased fickleness and a weaker party system left more room for manoeuver to institutional engineers. This chapter describes and analyses four models of institutional engineering: constitutional engineering; semi‐presidential systems; electoral laws; and decision‐making by plebiscite. These models are then compared with the paths of transition of selected Eastern European countries and contrasted with countries from Western Europe.

Keywords:   constitutional engineering, democratization, Eastern Europe, electoral laws, elites, institutional engineering, institutions, plebiscitarian decision making, semi‐presidential systems, Western Europe

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