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Political Rights Under Stress in 21st Century Europe$
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Wojciech Sadurski

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296033.001.0001

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The Role of Political Rights in the Democratization of Central and Eastern Europe

The Role of Political Rights in the Democratization of Central and Eastern Europe

(p.196) 5 The Role of Political Rights in the Democratization of Central and Eastern Europe
Political Rights Under Stress in 21st Century Europe

Jiří Přibáň

Wojciech Sadurski

Oxford University Press

Political terror had not vanished from the region of Central and Eastern Europe by the 1970s and 1980s, but was limited and exercised only against a tiny minority of dissident groups and human rights activists. This ‘limited use of terror’ — limited in its intensity and social targets — nevertheless had a significant political function because it reminded the population that it had to ritually approve the system as the instruments of political violence and that open repression still existed. They were faced with a political and legal structure giving the state ultimate social control and that treated citizens as powerless and entirely dependent entities. This unbalanced democratization of relationship between the state and the individual citizen needed to be changed by incorporating those political rights necessary for the establishment of democratic elections, decision-making, and control. The creation of such catalogues of political rights in post-communist legal systems was meant to constitute the normative and operative framework for the liberal democratic system.

Keywords:   Central Europe, Eastern Europe, political terror, political violence, democratization, political rights, democratic system, social control

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