Political Competition and the Reform Trajectories of Post‐Communist States
The quality of political competition at the moment of regime change determined whether East European states embarked on a liberal or an illiberal pattern of political change after 1989. It was initially determined by the presence or absence of an opposition to communism strong enough to take power in 1989, and secondarily by the presence or absence of a reforming communist party. This chapter makes the theoretical case for why political competition is central to understanding variation in the domestic trajectories of post-communist states. It also presents a model of the causal mechanisms that translate different levels of political competition into liberal and illiberal political outcomes.
Keywords: democratic monopoly, democratization, economic liberalization, economic reform, historical institutionalism, illiberal democracy, information asymmetries, institutions, liberal democracy, partial reform, political competition, rent-seeking
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