Institutional Engineering in Lithuania: Stability through Compromise

Nida Gelazis

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

 Institutional Engineering in Lithuania: Stability through Compromise

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Describes the process of adopting a new constitution in post‐communist Lithuania. The reasoning behind the quick adoption of a constitution was the urgent need to create links to Western constitutional traditions, to legitimize the country's independence from the USSR, and to distinguish Lithuania from other Soviet satellite states. The Constitution was intended to contribute to the perception of Lithuania as an independent state in the international community, in the hope of securing itself from possible re‐annexation to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the chapter points out that despite its quick adoption, the constitution includes important safeguards for democracy, such as the balance of powers and basic rights.

Keywords: balance of powers; basic rights; constitution; democracy; independence; legitimacy; Lithuania; semi‐presidential system; statehood; USSR

Chapter.  8123 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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