POST COMMUNIST DEMOCRACIES - Rutgers University Department...

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Rutgers University Department of Political Science Comparative Politics: Post-communist Democracies (790:381) Kelly Clancy [email protected] Fall 2010 Room: SC 214 Office Hours: Thursdays 3-5, Hickman Hall 401 Course Overview: This class will examine the democratization process in Central and Eastern Europe. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, countries have followed remarkably different paths as they have undergone cultural, institutional, and economic transitions. We will use these variables to understand the different outcomes in countries across the region. In some countries, democratic institutions were swiftly consolidated. In others, free elections produced illiberal democracies. In the economic sphere, outcomes have also varied widely: while some governments quickly managed difficult reforms and laid the conditions for growth, others faced extended economic stagnation. Finally, a number of the region's states have joined the European Union and NATO, a process that, arguably, has deepened democracy and cemented economic reforms even as it adds new complexity to the post-communist transition. As a framework for understanding post- communist democratization, we will examine the major theories of democratic transitions and democratic consolidation in comparative politics. The range of outcomes in post- communist Europe makes the region an ideal laboratory for testing the explanatory power of major theories of comparative politics. The semester will be divided into three sections: Communism; Revolution; Democratization. We will begin the semester by examining the historical legacies of communism, particularly how the aftermath of WWII structured Europe economically and politically. We will then look how dissent behind the Iron Curtain culminated in the 1989 revolutions, and how those set the stage for democratic transitions and consolidations. The rest of the course will focus on post-1989 developments in the democratic countries in the region. We will look at the transition process, and then spend time exploring the cultural, political, institutional, and economic state of the region. We will end the course by considering EU accession and prospects for the future. Readings and Course Material: The required books for this class are available in the university bookstores and used copies are available online. The books are: Gale Stokes, The Walls Came Tumbling Down (London: Sage Publications, 1998). Stephen White, Judy Batt, and Paul G. Lewis (eds.), Developments in Central and East European Politics 4 (Raleigh: Duke University Press, 2007) (DCEEP on
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syllabus) Timothy Garton Ash The Magic Lantern. Additional readings will be posted on Sakai. Four films will be assigned throughout the semester. I will to schedule a film viewing
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POST COMMUNIST DEMOCRACIES - Rutgers University Department...

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