Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Texts and Democratic Variety in Central and Eastern Europe

Blokker, Paul (2008) Constitutional Politics, Constitutional Texts and Democratic Variety in Central and Eastern Europe. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    In the paper, it is argued that democratization in Central and Eastern Europe involves important forms of differentiation of democracy, rather than merely convergence to a singular – liberal-democratic, constitutional - model. One way of taking up democratic differentiation in post-communist societies is by analysing the constitutional documents of the new democratic orders, and the constitutional politics leading to the foundational documents. In a first step, the paper analyses constitutional politics and the major actors involved in three countries (Hungary, Poland, and Romania), emphasising the symbolic conflict over perceptions of democracy and emerging dominant discourses on democracy in constitution-making. In this, the paper argues that the drafting processes and debating over constitutional forms did not only entail struggles over political power and institutional set-up, but also involved symbolic struggles over the meanings of democracy. The importance of such meanings is revealed in a second step, when the constitutional documents themselves are looked at. It is shown that the constitutions of the respective societies portray significant differences in the codification and hierarchization of rights and the rule of law, citizenship and identity, civic participation, and - to a somewhat lesser extent - distributive justice. It is argued that the constitutions put different emphases on a number of what will be called ethics of democracy, which can be related to different democratic political cultures. This paper is part of the Sussex European Institute Working Papers Series (ISSN 1350-4649). - First published in September 2008 by the Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex.

    Item Type: Departmental Technical Report
    Department or Research center: Sociology and Social Research
    Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Constitutionalism Constitutional Politics Democratization New Member States Political Culture
    Report Number: SEI Working Paper; 105
    Repository staff approval on: 11 Jun 2009

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