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Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering$
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Jan Zielonka

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199244081.001.0001

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Institutional Engineering in Lithuania: Stability through Compromise

Institutional Engineering in Lithuania: Stability through Compromise

Chapter:
(p.165) 6 Institutional Engineering in Lithuania: Stability through Compromise
Source:
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering
Author(s):

Nida Gelazis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199244081.003.0006

Describes the process of adopting a new constitution in post‐communist Lithuania. The reasoning behind the quick adoption of a constitution was the urgent need to create links to Western constitutional traditions, to legitimize the country's independence from the USSR, and to distinguish Lithuania from other Soviet satellite states. The Constitution was intended to contribute to the perception of Lithuania as an independent state in the international community, in the hope of securing itself from possible re‐annexation to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the chapter points out that despite its quick adoption, the constitution includes important safeguards for democracy, such as the balance of powers and basic rights.

Keywords:   balance of powers, basic rights, constitution, democracy, independence, legitimacy, Lithuania, semi‐presidential system, statehood, USSR

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