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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Finnish Institute of International Affairs Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs Political Geography Eastern Europe Remove constraint Political Geography: Eastern Europe Topic Democratization Remove constraint Topic: Democratization
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  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent scholarly and political debates, civil society has often been considered one of the weakest, if not the weakest aspect of democracy in the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). Although the Eastern EU applicant states have been fairly successful in establishing democratic institutions and formal procedures, all of them suffer from political apathy and alienation of the citizens, low public trust in state authorities, and general dissatisfaction with the functioning of democracy – even though democracy is valued in principle. In the face of these problems, activation of a sphere of civic initiative and organisation is seen by many analysts as one important means for improving the quality of democracy. Support to the development of civil society has also been an increasingly important aspect of EU policy aimed at strengthening democracy in the Eastern candidate countries. In addition to supporting civic activity in general, the EU has in recent years started to pay attention to the involvement of civil society in the Eastern enlargement process. It has been underlined that in order to guarantee the legitimacy and effectiveness of integration, citizens and nongovernmental actors should play a stronger role in the candidate countries' preparations for EU accession.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Integration into the European Union has for many years been one of the top priorities of the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), playing a central role in both their foreign and domestic policies. Preparing for membership in the EU is in many ways connected to the development of democracy in these countries. The Union has declared support to democracy in the applicant countries to be one of the main priorities of eastern enlargement. In addition to concrete support, however, I argue that the relevance of the EU for democracy in the CEECs is even more due to indirect influence – integration is a dominant issue in the domestic politics of these countries and therefore an important part of continuous (re)production of democracy. This paper studies what kind of democracy has been constructed in one of the eastern applicant countries, Estonia, in the course of integration into the EU It analyses firstly the different conceptions of democracy that have been presented and put into practice as part of that process. Secondly, it places integration into the EU in the context of democratic politics of Estonia, asking whether preparations for EU membership have left room for more than a formal democracy to function.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Hanna Järä
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: An essential challenge facing a society in transition stems from the legacy of the former power elite. A compelling need to restore moral order by the assessment of the abdication of the rule of law and violations of human rights requires an opportunity to face the past and its consequences. The process of dealing with the past includes a strong commitment to revealing the truth and redressing the past. The critical question around the issue is what is considered a proper reaction towards leaders and perpetrators who were responsible for oppressive activities and other violations of human rights, many of whom remain part of the new political structures or hold important positions in public life. The central tension is between the politics of compromise, the essence of which is to leave the past intact, and the radical notion of justice. Thus, the key dilemma facing the emerging democracies is whether past violations should be forgotten or confronted, forgiven or prosecuted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Estonia