Minorities in New European Democracies: A Source of Destabilization?

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  • 1 Currently Junior Professor of European Studies, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), dissertation on the Consolidation of Democracy in Post-socialist Europe, University of Heidelberg.

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  • 1 For more detailed data, see Table 1. Figures are taken from Christoph Pan and Beate Svbille Pfeil, Die I�olksgruppen in Europa. Ein Handbucb (Wien, 2000). 2 That excludes from consideration autocratic or non-consolidated regimes (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herze- govina, Croatia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine) as well as ethnically homogeneous regimes (Albania, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia). Also excluded is the Roma minority which, for various reasons, largely remains outside of political participation (see Zoltan Barany, 'Minderheiten, Ethnopolitik und die Osteuropaischen Roma, 2 (2) Ethnos-Nation (1994), 5-17; Erin Jenne,'The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe: Constructing a Stateless Nation, in Jonathan P. Stein (ed.), 7he Politics of National Minority Participa- tion in Post-Communist Europe (Armonk and London, 2000),189-212. The criteria for democratic consolida- tion are derived from Timm Beichelt, Demokratiscbe Konsolidierung im Postsozialistiscben Europa. Die Rolle der Politiscben Institutionen (Opladen, 2001). Croatia is excluded because there have not been two consecutive 'free and faii elections yet (only one). Moldova cannot be classified as a consolidated democracy because of the intentional marginalization of opposition inside and outside of parliament since about 1998. Russia and Ukraine are excluded because of the unfair character of the presidential elections in 1996 and 2000.

  • 3 See Georg Brunner, Autonomiekonzepte zum Minderheitenschutz-Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, in Gerrit Manssen and Boguslaw Banaszak (eds.), Minderheitenscbutz in Mittel- und Osteuropa (Frankfurt, 2001), 29-64. 4 See Agnieszka Malicka,'Der Scliutz der Deutsclien Minderheit in der Republik Polen', in Ibid., 227-36. 5 Helene Carrere d'Encausse, L'empire Eclate. La revolte des Nation en URSS (Paris, 1978). 6 Michail Gorbatschow, Perestroika. Die Zweite Russische Revolution (Munchen,1989).

  • 7 I am following the typology of liberalization - democratization - consolidation as described by Guillermo A. O'Donnell and Phillipe C. Schmitter (eds.), Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Demonacies (Baltimore, 1986). 8 For an overview, see Roger East and Jolyon Pontin, Revolution and Changes in Central and Eastern Europe (London, 1997). 9 Karel Vodicka, 'Wie der KoalitionsbeschluB zur Auflosung der CFSR zustande kam', 44 (2) Osteuropa (1994),175-86. 10 Dahl named these functioning democracies 'polyarchies', see Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy. Participation and Opposition (New Haven and London, 1971). 11 See Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Demonatic Transition and Consolidation (Baltimore and London, 1996) and Wolfgang Merkel, Systemtransformation (Opladen, 1999). It needs to be underlined, however, that these classificationswere made some years ago and would probably look different today.

  • 12 David Held, Models ofDemocracy (Cambridge, 1996). 13 Robert A. Dahl, Democracy and its Critics (New Haven, 1989), 119-31.

  • 14 On international law and minority protection, see Robert Uerpmann, Volkerrechtliche Grundlagen des Minderheitenschutzes', in Manssen and Banaszak (eds.), Minderbeitenschutz ..., 9-28. 15 See, for example, Articles 8 and 9 ECHR. 16 Carsten Wieland, 'Ein Makedonien mit drei Gesichtern. Innenpolitische Debatten und Nationskonzepte', 46 (12) Sudasteuropa (1997), 695-711.

  • 17 Egidijus Sileikis, 'Verfassungsrechtliche und Einfachgesetzliche Ausgestaltung des Minderheitenschutzes in Litauen', in Manssen and Banaszak (eds.), Minderheitenschu!Z... ,101-28, at 106. 18 Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Demoaatic Transition and Consolidation (Baltimore, London, 1996), at 404. 19 A complete list of requirements of the citizenship law of 1995 can be found in Carmen Thiele, Selbstbestim- mung und Minderheitenschutz in Estland (Heidelberg,1999), 65-70. 20 See Ibid. 21 Constitution Watch', 7 (4) East European Constitutional Review (1998),18-19.

  • 22 Constitution Watch', 10 (2/3) East European Constitutional Review (2001), 24. 23 See Ineta Ziemele, `Die Ausgestaltung des Minderheitenschutzes in Lettland: ein Lehrstiick fiir Europa , in Manssen and Banaszak (eds.), Minderheitenschutx ... , 65-94, at 81. 24 For this and the quote before, see 'Constitution Watch', 9 (1/2) EastEurapean Constitutional Review (2000), 22. 25 See http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/enlargement.htm. 26 Constitution Watch', 10 (2/3) East European Constitutional Review (2001), 24. 27 See John T Ishiyama and Marijke Breuning, Ethnopolitics in the New Europe (Boulder and London,1998); Peter Cumper and Steven Wheatley (eds.), Minority Rights in the 'New' Europe(The Hague, 1999).

  • 28 Ernst Fraenkel,'Die Representative und Plebiszitare Komponente im Demokratischen Verfassungsstaat', in Ernst Fraenkel (ed.), Deutschland und die Westlichen Demokratien (Frankfurt, 1991). 29 Giovanni Sartori, Demokratietheorie (Darmstadt, 1997). 30 That is, however, not true for Romania where some seats in the chamber of deputies are granted to ethnic minorities exempted from electoral thresholds. In Lithuania, there existed a lower threshold of two% for the Polish minority until 1996, when this exception was cancelled. See 'Constitution Watch', 5 (2/3) East European Constitutional Review (1996),15.

  • 31 Sources: Pan and Pfeil, Die lJOlksgru�en in Europa ..., and Beichelt, Demokratiscbe Konsolidierung ..., 253 * Figures divided by an oblique mean that additional thresholds exist for common lists. ** 141 seats in parliament. 71 seats in single member districts, hurdle of 5% applies to 70 seats in one constituency. - 120 seats in parliament. 85 seats in single member districts, hurdle of 5% applies to 35 seats in one constituency. 32 See figures in Beichelt, Demokratiscbe Konsolidierung.... 33 See 'Constitution Watch', 5 (2/3) East European Constitutional Review (1996), 15. 34 For the concept of blackmail potential, see Giovanni Sartori, Parties and Party Systems (Cambridge,1976).

  • 35 Source: http://www.electionworld.org/ as well as coverage by daily press, mainly Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. . Percentage of seats (not votes). No data for percentages of votes available.

  • 36 See http://www.riigikogu.ee/pajactions.html#P88_1985. 37 See Axel Reetz,'Die Dritten Parlamente der Esten, Letten und Litauer', 33 (2) Zeitschrift fir Parlaments- fragen (2002),290-305.

  • 38 Klaus Schrameyer, Makedonien. Friedlichkeit, �1a11 und ernunft - mit balkanischem Charme', 46 (12) Sudosteuropa (1997), 661-94. 39 See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 October 2002. 40 In relation to the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, see Andrea Riemer, 'Die ungarische Minderheit in der Sudslowakei - ein multidimensionales Krisenpotential?', 47 (3) Osteuropa (1997), 253-68. 41 See Marianna Butenschon, Litauen (Miinchen, 2002),169.

  • 42 Source: author's calculations. * See Table 1 ** Results of 1990 and 1994 are measured by percentage of seats (not votes). 43 Robert Uerpmann, 'Volkerrechtliche Grundlagen des Minderheitenschutzes', in Manssen and Banaszak (eds.), Minderheitenschutz ..., 9-28.

  • 44 John T. Ishiyama, 'Strange bedfellows: explaining political cooperation between communist successor par- ties and nationalists in Eastern Europe', 4 rations and Nationalism (1998),61-85; Judith Devlin, Slavophiles and Commissars. Enemies of Democracy in Modern Russia (Houndsmills,1999). 45 Claus Neukirch, Moldovan Headaches. The Republic of Moldova 120 days after the 2001 Parliamentary Elections', Working Paper Nr. 3 of the Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) (2001). 46 In fact, in 1999 one of the two major Russian parties in Estonia, the People's Party, sided with the post-com- munist Work Party, see Reetz, `Die Dritten Parlamente der Esten, ...', 290-305.

  • 47 See Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy. Participation and Opposition .... 48 Juan Linz, Tbe Breakdown ofDemocratic Regimes. Crisis, Breakdown f� Equilibration (Baltimore, 1978). 49 Guillermo A. O'Donnell and Phillipe C. Schmitter (eds.), Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore, 1986). 50 This dictum is from Juan Linz, `Transitions to Democracy', 13 (3) Wasbington Quarterly (1990),143-64. The interpretation of the notions liberalization, democratization and consolidation is from Wolfgang Merkel, Systemtransformation (Opladen,1999). 51 Hans-Joachim Lauth and Wolfgang Merkel, 'Zivilgesellschaft und Transformation. Ein Diskussionsbe- itrag in revisionistischer Absicht',10 (1) Forschungsjournal NSB (1997),12-34.

  • 52 Kenneth D. McRae, Conflict and Compromire in Multilingual Societies. T�l l.- Switzerland (Waterloo and Ontario, 1983); Ibid., Conflictand Compromise in Multilingual Societies. T�12: Belgium (Waterloo and Ontario, 1986). 53 See Klaus von Beyme, Systemwechsel in Osteuropa (Frankfurt, 1994),175-91.

  • 54 O'Donnell and Schmitter (eds.), Tentative Conclusions.... 55 Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed. Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cam- bridge, 1997). 56 For this argument, see again Lauth and Merkel,'Zivilgesellschaft und Transformation....' .

  • 57 See Giovanni Sartori, Parties and Party Systems (Cambridge, 1976). 58 Timm Beichelt, Demokratische Konsolidierung im Postsozialistischen Europa. Die Rolle der Politischen Institu- tionen (Opladen, 2001), 289-93.

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