Chapter

Institutions and Coalition Building in Post‐Communist Transitions

Olga Shvetsova

in The Architecture of Democracy

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199246465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600135 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199246467.003.0004

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Institutions and Coalition Building in Post‐Communist Transitions

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In the ten years of post‐communist transition, the countries of Eastern and Central Europe have passed through several election cycles, providing new evidence of the influence of formal political institutions on transition dynamics. This chapter examines the transitional development of their party systems as a function of institutional choices. Focusing on party systems, it identifies the process of coalition formation as the transmission mechanism by which institutions influence political consolidation at this stage. It addresses the transitional influence of combinations of majoritarian and power‐sharing institutions, suggesting that their interactive effect may undermine or weaken the incentives for party‐building that each of them can separately provide. The article provides supporting evidence from Poland and Romania.

Keywords: coalition politics; democratization; Poland; power‐sharing; Romania

Chapter.  8068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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