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Problems of Early Post-Communist Transition Theory: From Transition from to Transition to

Dejan Jović ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 139 Kb

str. 44-68

preuzimanja: 1.009



The paper critically assesses the main approaches developed within the theories
of post-communist transitions in the 1990s by looking at early works
of Przeworski, Fukuyama, Vanhanen and Schflin. The author argues that
the post-communist transition theories departed from the original understanding
of transition, as developed by O’Donnell and Schmitter in the 1980s. Instead
of focusing on explaining the past, the post-communist transition theories
constructed themselves as primarily normative, ie. forward-looking. They
adopted key elements of ‘objectivist’ and normative approaches in analysing
political actions. In order to emphasise this anticipatory approach to analysing
political and economic transformations, the new ‘transitologists’ described
transition as ‘transition to democracy’, rather than ‘transition from authoritarianism’.
The author argues that some of the (self-admitted) failures of anticipatory
transition theories in predicting events that led to 1989 in Eastern
Europe were primarily due to their ‘objectivist’ approach in analysing political

Ključne riječi

transition theories; post-communist transitions; transitology; Eastern Europe

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