Party system stabilisation in Central Europe: Record and prospects in a changing economic context.
In: General Conference of European Consortium for Political Research, 10-12 September 2009, Potsdam.
The passage of twenty years since the end of communism in Central Europe prompts comparison with the twenty-year period of national independence and attempted democracy between the two world wars. The recent period has clearly been far more successful than the earlier period - and until very recently has avoided the economic turbulence and crisis tendencies that afflicted Europe in the 1930s. But in view of the rather weakly rooted democracy in Central Europe and its poorly institutionalised party systems, we most now consider whether the current economic crisis represents some kind of threat to party system stability and the persistence of successful democratic regimes. Recent responses to crisis in terms of direct action and electoral response are considered, as are their implications for our understanding of ongoing institutionalisation processes.
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