Even romania and bulgaria the mal performers of eu

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denied an EU membership perspective? Even Romania and Bulgaria, the mal-performers of EU enlargement, have made progress in some areas. 24 Ten years on, there is not a 23 D. Dolenec, Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe, (Colchester: ECPR Press, 2013). 24 P. Levitz and G. Pop-Eleches, “Why no backsliding? The European Union’s impact on democracy and governance before and after accession,” Comparative Political Studies 43, 4 (2010): 457-485; U. Sedelmeier, “Europeanisation after Accession: Leaders, Laggards, and Lock-In,” West European Politics 35, 1 (2012): 20-38; A. Spendzharova and M. A. Vachudova, “Catching Up? Consolidating Liberal Democracy After EU Accession,” West European Politics 35, 1 (2012): 39-58; V. Ganev, “Post-Accession Hooliganism: 9
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single country on the EU’s borders with an association agreement but without a membership perspective that can be described as a stable liberal democracy with a well- functioning market economy. And while the recent illiberal behavior of governments empowered by legislative supermajorities in Hungary and (much less so) in Romania has caused concern, there is no question that EU membership has had a restraining influence on them. 25 Nevertheless, the egregious ways that the government of Viktor Orban has dismantled liberal democracy in Hungary have revealed how little the EU can do to reign in or reverse policies that erode the quality of democracy. 26 Indeed, in important ways EU and also IMF policies that forced austerity on Hungary helped Orban win so much power; subsequently, neither EU nor IMF policies could restrain him. 27 The study of EU leverage – and its limits – has also made contributions to the international relations literature. The logic that material rewards and sanctions create incentives for compliance with EU rules is a rationalist argument that engages a debate that has emerged in the international relations literature between so-called rationalist and constructivist approaches. Both seek to identify the specific mechanisms that translate international influence into change: change in the behavior of domestic elites, and change in broader domestic outcomes. Studies in the rationalist camp generally argue that mechanisms based on material interests and rewards explain the lion’s share of policy change owing to international influence. Studies in the constructivist camp argue that other, cognitive mechanisms based on the power of the normative social environment Democratic Governance in Bulgaria and Romania After 2007,” East European Politics & Societies 27, 1 (2013): 26-44. 25 G. Pop-Eleches, “Learning from Mistakes: Romanian Democracy and the Hungarian Precedent,” Newsletter of the European Politics and Society Section of the American Political Science Association, Winter 2013; J. Wittenberg “Back to the Future?
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