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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 Topic Democratization Remove constraint Topic: Democratization
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  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has long been acknowledged that the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) act in a complex political setting. They represent national parties and are elected nationally, and their campaigns are often built around domestic issues. However, in the European Parliament (EP), the MEPs mostly work within transnational party groups, which form the main channel through which they can influence European decision-making. Although most national parties have affiliated themselves to party groups with similar ideological leanings, the views of the MEPs' national parties and their European party groups do not always overlap. In such situations, the MEPs are forced to choose between their different 'principals'. This raises several questions: Who do the MEPs ultimately represent? To what degree do domestic political factors and national concerns condition their behaviour in the EP? And to what extent do the political cleavages in the EP reflect the conflict lines in national politics?
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Henrikki Heikka
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, several prominent Finnish politicians have criticized the Finnish government for lack of vision in its foreign policy. Liisa Jaakonsaari, Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and a prominent social democrat), has argued that the government “lacks one thing, and with it, everything: a vision”. Member of the European Parliament Alexander Stubb (the Conservative party's vote puller in the last EP elections) has publicly called contemporary Finnish foreign policy as “pitiful tinkering” (säälittävää näpertelyä). Editorial writers have begun to recycle the old the term “driwftwood” (ajopuu), a term originally coined to describe Finland's flip-flopping during World War II, in their attempts to find an appropriate label for the present government's foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Finland, Asia
  • 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: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although the European Union has in many ways promoted democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe, there are several tensions between democracy and integration into the EU of the applicant countries. These tensions are explored in the paper from two perspectives. Firstly, it is argued that the conception of democracy that prevails in the candidate countries – or more specifically, the coupling of democracy with the nation – inevitably implies that integration into the EU restricts democracy. Secondly, the author exposes the norms and principles that dominate the Eastern enlargement – speed, objectivity, efficiency, expertise, competition and inevitability – and argues that these constrain democratic politics and tend to limit enlargement to a narrow sphere of elites and experts. The paper also draws parallels between these two dilemmas and the “democratic deficit” of the EU and discusses the prospects for mitigating the tensions that it highlights.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has become something of a cliché to argue that the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in dramatic changes in the unfolding of political space in the 1990s. Yet this was especially true in the case of the then European Community (EC) and its relations with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. During the Cold War, the relations between the EC and the USSR were practically non-existent. The ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the period of perestroika and glasnost resulted, however, in a gradual rapprochement between the two parties. The creation of these new ties was formalized in the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EC and the USSR, which was, however, in effect signed with an already crumbling Soviet Union as it took place as late as 21 December 1989.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • 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
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Though the Chinese Communist Party clings to its monopoly on power and fully intends to avoid “walking down the road of the Soviet Union,” it is implementing revolutionary political reform in the countryside. For the past decade, multi-candidate elections, in which candidates need not be members of the Communist Party, have been held in hundreds of thousands of Chinese villages. Abdicating its prerogative to appoint village chiefs, the Party has conceded that elected ones are more effective. The grassroots-level governance reform (jiceng zhengquan gaige) not only empowers ordinary citizens and encourages them to take part in the decision-making process. It also institutionalizes the concepts of accountability and transparency.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Soviet Union