Re-Thinking Europeanisation: The Negative Side of Inspiration, Coalition-Building and Substitution during Post-Communist Democratisation.

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Room J15 (J375) (University of Glasgow)
Licia Cianetti , Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London
This paper contributes to the growing debate on democratic backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), by reassessing the role Europeanisation played in shaping the kind of democracies that emerged in CEE. The focus is shifted from measuring Europeanization’s effectiveness to understanding its broader effects. In particular, this article deploys Wade Jacoby’s (2006) distinction between three different modes of external influence over democratic transition (inspiration, coalition-building, and substitution) and investigates whether – in the context of hollowing of Western democracies – this influence also contained “bad teachings”.  The cases of Estonia and Latvia, two successful Europeanisers and not obvious democratic backsliders, illustrate how the incentives and disincentives of Europeanisation had the perhaps unintended effect of crystallising peculiarly exclusionary forms of democracy in which minority voices are marginalised, the scope for party alternation in government is severely reduced, and socio-economic grievances are pushed out of the political debate.
  • LCianetti_CESdraft.docx (150.5 kB)