Slovakia: From the Ambiguous Constitution to the Dominance of Informal Rules

Darina Malová

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

 Slovakia: From the Ambiguous Constitution to the Dominance of Informal Rules

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Describes the reasons behind the hastily drafted Constitution of Slovakia and explains why it proved insufficient to provide guidance to political leaders and to foster the consolidation of democracy. The main argument of this chapter is that the preponderance of informal rules has impeded the institutionalization of formal rules and undermined the constitutional government. The chapter focuses on the factors that have contributed to the dominance of informal rules and pushed actors to turn to unconstitutional alternatives. Slovakia's institutional developments are explored in four parts. The first part reviews institutional traditions and the constitution‐making process. The second part examines the electoral system and its impact on the party system and the composition of political power. The third part examines the substance of the Constitution, particularly, the unclear articles regarding the separation of powers, which have led to institutional conflicts. The last section analyses the durability of the constitution and attempts made by political actors to balance power through institutional engineering.

Keywords: constitution; constitutional government; Czechoslovakia; democratic consolidation; electoral system; institutional engineering; institutional traditions; party system; separation of powers; Slovakia

Chapter.  12302 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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