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From Elections to Democracy

From Elections to Democracy
Building Accountable Government in Hungary and Poland


  • Date Published: May 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521692151

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About the Authors
  • The countries of Central Europe in the first round for admission to the European Union have all established constitutional, electoral democracies and market economies. However, much remains to be done to achieve fully consolidated democratic states. This study documents the weaknesses of public oversight and participation in policymaking in Hungary and Poland, two of the most advanced countries in the region. It discusses five alternative routes to accountability including European Union oversight, constitutional institutions such as presidents and courts, devolution to lower-level governments, the use of neo-corporatist bodies, and open-ended participation rights. It urges more emphasis on the fifth option, public participation. Case studies of the environmental movement in Hungary and of student groups in Poland illustrate these general points. The book reviews the United States' experience of open-ended public participation and draws some lessons for the transition countries from the strengths and weaknesses of the American system.

    • Author is one of the world's leading students of the overlap between law, policy and economics
    • Based on original research in Eastern Europe, numerous interviews with leading scholars and officials
    • Highly accessible approach, with very clear policy recommendations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … a beautifully clear, meticulous work of scholarship …' Political Science Quarterly

    '… its descriptive, analytical and prescriptive aims are skilfully achieved. It supplies a trove of detailed factual information and data on the wide range of institutions studied, which will be useful for those without the language skills to access the relevant documentation in the original … of interest to a wide range of readers … provides useful case studies for graduate-level students of public policy in Eastern Europe, and it is a valuable source book for Central European specialists. It also represents an important contribution for policy communities in Central Europe and in those states seeking to devise strategies to support political development in the region.' The Slavonic and East European Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521692151
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Policymaking accountability and democratic consolidation
    2. Alternative routes to policymaking accountability
    3. The legacy of the past
    4. External accountability and the European Union
    5. Oversight
    6. Decentralized political accountability
    7. Public participation in policymaking: government procedures
    8. Civil society groups: overview
    9. Environmental advocacy organizations in Hungary
    10. Student and youth organizations in Poland
    11. Democratic consolidation and policymaking accountability.

  • Author

    Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University, Connecticut
    Susan Rose-Ackerman is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence (Law and Political Science) at Yale University, Connecticut. She has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, New York. She has held Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships and has been a Research Fellow at the World Bank, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria, and Collegium Budapest. Professor Rose-Ackerman is the author of Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences and Reform (Cambridge, 1999, with subsequent translations into nine languages), Controlling Environmental Policy and The Nonprofit Enterprise in Market Economies. She is one of the editors of Building a Trustworthy State in Post-Socialist Transition and Creating Social Trust in Post-Socialist Transition. Both these books as well as From Elections to Democracy are products of the project, Honesty and Trust in Post-Socialist Transition, jointly organized by the author and János Kornai at Collegium Budapest. Professor Rose-Ackerman has also published widely in law, economics and policy journals. Her research interests include comparative regulatory law and policy, the political economy of corruption, public policy and administrative law, and law and economics.

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