Import/Export Democracy: 20 Years of Democracy Assistance in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus Region

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The collapse of socialism in the year 1989 brought hopes for the universal triumph of Western liberal democracy and, along with it, the end of major, global political conflicts.

This democratic optimism played a particular role in Western relations to the former socialist countries. Supported by the democratic changes in East Central Europe, there seemed to be no relevant limits facing the Western export of democracy and instruments for the external promotion of democracy. But after 1989 in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus, two aspects played and still play a key role in determining whether a political system exhibits merely a democratic façade or a truly democratic constitution: civil society and political culture, on the one hand, and the influence of ethnic conflicts, on the other.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation decided to commemorate the anniversary of this epochal turning point by examining two decades of external democracy promotion in these parts of Europe. The publication Import/Export Democracy joins renowned experts from Germany and abroad illuminating the successes and failures, the instruments and institutions, and the concepts behind them.


Product details
Date of Publication
March, 2010
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Table of contents

7 Preface and Introduction

11 Timm Beichelt und Frank Schimmelfennig From Post-socialist Optimism to the Political Reality of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus: The Limits of Democracy Export

24 Srdan Dvornik Destroyed Societies, Civil Substitutes, and Democracy

32 Jens Siegert From Institutional Form to Democratic Substance? Political culture and civil society in Russia

38 Alina Mungiu-Pippidi The Unfinished Revolutions of Southeastern Europe

53 Kurt Bassuener Bosnia and Herzegovina: An Internationally Sanctioned and Failing Oligarchy

57 Ivlian Khaindrava Intrastate Conflicts and Democracy

61 Bodo Weber On the Perception of Ethnic Conflicts and Their Impact on Western Democratization Policy in Southeastern Europe after 1989

66 Jonathan Wheatley The Challenges of Democratization in the Caucasus: Soviet Legacies, Nationalism, and the Failure of Democracy Promotion

73 Pavol Demes Western Democracy Assistance in Central and Eastern Europe: Some Lessons Learned

76 Jurij Dschibladse Russia’s Crisis, Russia’s Opening?

86 Iris Kempe The EU and its Neighbors: In Search of New Forms of Partnership

97 Appendix

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