Post-Communist Democratisation in Lithuania

Elites, parties, and youth political organisations. 1988-2001


Post-Communist Democratisation in Lithuania: Elites, Parties, and Youth Political Organisations. 1988 – 2001 explains post-communist changes in Lithuania. The transformation of political party system, political elites and youth political organisations in Lithuania are examined in light of democratisation in other post-communist countries. By linking theories of democratisation and elites to actual events, the book provides an analytical framework for interpreting political regime change and development in Lithuania. The book is based on five assumptions: (1) democratisation in Lithuania belongs to a ‘Western type’ of democratic development; (2) elites and nationalism were the major forces in modernisation; (3) Lithuanian elites have used the favourable conditions of perestroika and were the major actors in regime transformation; (4) the crop of political elites in Lithuania undergoes a generational change, and youth political organisations are very important in this process as they serve as schools for future politicians; and (5) class theory is less useful than elite theory when analysing the process of democratisation in Lithuania.

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Dr Diana Janušauskienė is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania. Her previous publications include ‘The Metamorphosis of the Communist Party of Lithuania’ in Bozóki, A. and Ishiyama, J.T. (ed.) Communist Successor Parties in Central and Eastern Europe. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. (2002); Political Transformation and Changing Identities in Central and Eastern Europe. Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, ed. by Blasko, A. and Janušauskienė, D. (2008).
List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgements
Theorising the Post-Communist Democratisation: The Role of Political Elites
A Few Remarks on Theories of Democratisation
Theories of Elites and the Analysis of Post-Communist Democratisation
The Role of Political Parties
The New Political Scene in Lithuania
The Development of the Political Party System
Regime Legitimacy
The Transformation of Political Elites
Rising New Elites: A Case of Youth Political Organisations
The Methodology of the Research
The Origin of Youth Political Organisations
The Relationship with “The Mother Parties”
Goals and Functions of Youth Political Organisations
The Procedure of Joining the Organisations
Reasons for Joining the Organisations
Some Structural Features of Youth Political Organisations
Opinions on Internal Functioning of Youth Political Organisations
Opinions of Selected Political Matters
Some Concluding Remarks: Differences and Similarities
Appendix 1. The Content of the Questionnaires
Appendix 2. Description of the Respondents
Appendix 3. Summarised Data from a Survey of the Members of Youth Political Organisations
Appendix 4. Summarised Data of a Survey of Members of the Lithuanian Parliament in 1996-2000
About the Author