Estonia: Positive and Negative Institutional Engineering

Vello Pettai

in Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244089
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600364 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Estonia: Positive and Negative Institutional Engineering

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Outlines Estonia's path to a new constitution along with an assessment of the new institutions in place since 1992. Because of constant political conflict, Pettai argues that the constitution‐making process was essential for creating the basis for conflict resolution and democratic consolidation. The chapter describes how Estonian leaders grappled with important aspects of their new democracy, including fundamental rights and duties, social welfare rights, judicial and constitutional review, the relationship between the president and the parliament, local government, minorities, and non‐citizens. Special attention is paid to the presidentialism versus parliamentarism debate. The author argues that institutional engineering enabled Estonia's leaders to secure its statehood and contributed to its economic development, European integration, and social progress.

Keywords: conflict resolution; constitution; constitutional review; democratic consolidation; Estonia; European integration; institutional engineering; parliamentarism; presidentialism; statehood

Chapter.  11409 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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