June 25, 2013

Democracy in Post-Communist Countries

Why is Belarus a dictatorship? Why is Poland a consolidated democracy? These countries have so much in common but at the same time one is the democracy and another one is the dictatorship. In my recent paper I argue that post-communist political development depends on institutional stickiness of democracy in a given country. Poland had more institutions that facilitated democratization. Belarus had more institutions that inhibited democratization.

Here is an abstract: 
Structural explanation of political development offers a finite set of factors that cause democracy to consolidate or not (Acemoglu and Robinson 2006). This approach is, however, insufficient to explain political development of post-communist countries because it ignores a role of social arrangements in democratic consolidation. The field of comparative political economy is becoming more acceptable to the idea that social institutions have significant impact on political development (Boettke et al., 2005). Using transitional experience of post-communist countries, I demonstrate that institutional stickiness of democracy depends on a combination of causal factors, including underlying political culture (Boettke et al., 2008; Pejovich, 2003).

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