Political Institutions and Party Politics in Post-Communist Europe

Professor Csaba Nikolenyi – Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal

Tuesday 27 November 2012 11.00am – 12.30pm

Following the collapse of communism in East-Central Europe, democratic systems of government emerged and became consolidated in ten states of the region, each of which eventually joined the European Union by 2007. In stark contrast to other parts of the world where the Third Wave of democracy also resulted in the demise of autocratic regimes, such as Latin America, these new European democracies adopted parliamentary rather than presidential systems of government. The institutional foundations of the new European parliamentary democracies, however, differ considerably in terms of the balance of powers between the legislature and the executive, and the electoral system. The paper argues that these institutional differences have made lasting and durable effects on the development and consolidation of patterns of competitive party politics in the region. It elaborates how these alternative institutional and constitutional models have affected the degree of party system fragmentation, patterns of government formation, and government stability.

Csaba Nikolenyi is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science of Concordia University, Montreal. He received his PhD in 2000 from the University of British Columbia. From 2006-11 he was English Co-Editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science. In 2009 he published Minority Governments in India and he currently finishes a manuscript on the Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Democracies.

Venue: ANU Centre for European Studies, 1 Liversidge Street (Bldg 67C), Canberra

Parking: please see the Visitor Parking Map
RSVP: europe@anu.edu.au by Monday 26 November 2012

ANUCES is an initiative involving four ANU Colleges (Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Business and Economics, and Asia and the Pacific) co-funded by the ANU and the European Union.