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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Political Geography Bosnia Remove constraint Political Geography: Bosnia Topic Development Remove constraint Topic: Development
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  • Author: Milada Anna Vachudova
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) may be presiding over the most successful democracy promotion program ever implemented by an international actor. Among postcommunist states with a credible EU membership perspective, we can see a significant – though far from complete – convergence toward liberal democracy. This is all the more interesting since ten years ago many of these states had illiberal or authoritarian regimes. I focus in this article on the sources of political change in previously illiberal regimes before and after "watershed elections," especially in the Western Balkans. I argue that over time the EU's leverage strengthened the hand of liberal forces against illiberal ones by way of four mechanisms: creating a focal point for cooperation, providing incentives for adapting, using conditionality, and serving as a credible commitment for reform. Consequently, most political parties have eventually changed their agenda to make it compatible with the state's bid for EU membership. I investigate the domestic conditions that have caused these mechanisms to function only weakly in Serbia and Bosnia.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Serbia