The European Union and Democratization (Europe and the Nationstate)

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  • The European Union andDemocratization

    Over the last decade, the European Union (EU), through its example ofpolitical and economic success and through its external activities, hasattempted to promote democracy in neighboring states. In some cases, therehas been apparent success; in others, the road has been much rougher.

    This volume looks at EU efforts to promote democracy in seven cases, inorder to further our understanding of how external actors, and specificallythe EU, can best encourage political change in targeted states. The bookincludes case studies on Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, Turkey, Croatia,Ukraine, and Morocco, each of which is engaged in significant ways with theEU but has been or is a reluctant democratizer. Major issues that arecovered are each states democratic shortcomings, EU diplomatic initiatives,aid programs, links between the EU and non-governmental organizations,and how the offer of membership in the EU affects calculations of domesticpolitical elites.

    By examining these cases, this innovative volume adds to our understand-ing of processes that are as yet undertheorized and unexplored systematicallyin either the international relations or democratization literatures.

    Paul J. Kubicek is Associate Professor of Political Science at OaklandUniversity, USA. He is the author of numerous works on post-communistand Turkish politics, and is the author of From Solidarity to Infirmity:Organized Labor in Post-Communist States.

  • Europe and the Nation StateEdited by Michael Burgess and Lee MilesCentre for European Union Studies, University of Hull

    This series explores the complex relationship between nation states andEuropean integration and the political, social, economic, and policy implic-ations of this interaction. The series examines issues such as:

    the impact of the EU on the politics and policy-making of the nation stateand vice versa

    the effects of expansion of the EU on individual nation states in Europe the relationship between the EU and non-European nation states.

    1 Poland and the European Union1 Edited by Karl Cordell

    2 Greece in the European Union1 Edited by Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Argyris G. Passas

    3 The European Union and Democratization1 Edited by Paul J. Kubicek

    4 Iceland1 The reluctant member of Europe1 Baldur Thorhallsson

    5 Norway and an Integrating Europe1 Clive Archer

  • The European Union andDemocratization

    Edited by Paul J. Kubicek

  • First published 2003 by Routledge11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

    2003 Paul J. Kubicek selection and editorial matter; individualchapters the contributors

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted orreproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, orother means, now known or hereafter invented, includingphotocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrievalsystem, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataThe European Union and democratization / Paul J. Kubicek, editor.

    p. cm.Incudes bibliographical references and index.1. DemocratizationEuropean Union countries. 2. HumanrightsEuropean Union countries. 3. European Union countriesEthnicrelations. 4. Post-communismEurope, Eastern. 5. European UnioncountriesForeign relationsEurope, Eastern. 6. Europe,EasternForeignrelationsEuropean Union countries. I. Kubicek, Paul.

    D1060.E8683 2003940.009049dc21 2003003641

    ISBN 0415311365

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004.

    ISBN 0-203-45846-X Master e-book ISBN

    ISBN 0-203-34441-3 (Adobe eReader Format)(Print Edition)

  • Contents

    List of figures and tables viiNotes on contributors ixPreface xi

    1 International norms, the European Union, and democratization:tentative theory and evidence 1PAUL J. KUBICEK

    2 The European Union, democratization, and minorities in Latvia 30NILS MUIZNIEKS AND ILZE BRANDS KEHRIS

    3 The ambivalent influence of the European Union ondemocratization in Slovakia 56KEVIN DEEGAN KRAUSE

    4 The European Union and Romania: the politics of constrained transition 87WILLIAM CROWTHER

    5 The politics of conditionality: the European Union and human rights reform in Turkey 111THOMAS W. SMITH

    6 The European Union and Croatia: negotiating Europeanizationamid national, regional, and international interests 132STEPHEN M. TULL

    7 The European Union and Ukraine: real partners or relationship of convenience? 150PAUL J. KUBICEK

  • vi Contents

    8 The European Union and democratization in Morocco 174BRADFORD DILLMAN

    9 Conclusion: the European Union and democracy promotion 197PAUL J. KUBICEK

    Index 216

  • Figures and tables


    3.1 Freedom House civil liberties scores for selected Central and Eastern European countries, 19902000 58

    3.2 Distrust toward the European Union by party preference in Slovakia, 19921999 78


    1.1 Summary of hypotheses on democracy promotion 20

    9.1 Summary of hypotheses on the European Union and democratization 199200

    9.2 Evaluation of hypotheses in seven countries 202

  • Contributors

    William Crowther is an Associate Professor of Political Science at theUniversity of North Carolina-Greensboro and Co-Director of theParliament Documents Center for Central Europe. He received his PhDfrom UCLA in 1986. He is the author of a number of works on variousaspects of politics in Moldova and Romania and is currently engaged in acomparative study of the role of legislative institutions in the post-communist transitions.

    Bradford Dillman is an Assistant Professor in the School of InternationalService and the School of Public Affairs at American University. He is theauthor of State and Private Sector in Algeria: The Politics of Rent-Seeking and Failed Development (Westview, 2000). He holds a PhD inPolitical Science from Columbia University.

    Ilze Brands Kehris is a researcher at the Latvian Centre for Human Rightsand Ethnic Studies in Riga. She holds an MA and MPhil in PoliticalScience from Columbia University, where she specialized in internationalrelations and Soviet studies.

    Kevin Deegan Krause teaches comparative politics at Wayne State University.He received a PhD in Government and International Studies from theUniversity of Notre Dame. His current research focuses on political andsocial cleavages in political party systems and the relationship amongnationalism, authoritarianism, and economic reform in Central andEastern Europe.

    Paul J. Kubicek is an Associate Professor of Political Science at OaklandUniversity. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan, and haspublished widely on post-communist and Turkish politics. His mostrecent book is From Solidarity to Infirmity: Organized Labor in Post-Communist States (forthcoming).

  • Nils Muiznieks has been director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rightsand Ethnic Studies since 1994. He received a BA in Politics fromPrinceton University in 1986 and an MA (1988) and PhD (1993) inPolitical Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

    Thomas W. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department ofGovernment and International Affairs at the University of South Florida.From 1997 to 2000 he taught at Ko University in Istanbul, and is theauthor of numerous journal articles and History and InternationalRelations (Routledge, 1999).

    Stephen M. Tull has studied and worked throughout the former Yugoslaviaover the course of twenty years. He holds a PhD in Political Science fromthe University of Michigan, where his work focused on ethnopolitics, self-determination, and sovereignty. He has worked for the United Nationssince 1996, in Peacekeeping, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairswith assignments in Geneva, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,Rwanda, and Afghanistan.

    x Contributors

  • Preface

    In the course of living and doing research in a number of countries waitingin line for membership in the European Union, I was struck by the differencebetween the heady rhetoric of democracy and reform from the EU and thecynicism and suspicion of people on the ground in these countries, many ofwhom were not particularly impressed by EU efforts to promote reforms.Indeed, public opinion in a number of prospective EU members not tomention in some EU countries as well reflects great ambivalence, if nothostility, to the EU. This gap between the rhetoric and hopes of the EU andthe views of those the EU is ostensibly trying to help provided the initialimpetus for this volume.

    Our specific set of questions revolves around EU efforts to promotedemocracy in cases we label reluctant democratizers, those countries wheredemocratization faced or still faces some formidable hurdles. Our goal is touse these cases cases of success and failure to illuminate how externalpromotion of democracy can work and how it may be limited. Surprisingly,this is an area that lacks extensive treatment in the literature, falling as itdoes between the gap of comparative politics and international relations.Moreover, when one looks at the issue of EU democratization efforts, onefinds little rigorous research, with most works limited to the successful casesof democratic transition in Southern and Central Europe. By looking atsome less well-studied cases, we hope to broaden both our empirical andtheoretical understanding of the nexus between international and domesticpolitics on questions of democratization.

    Initial versions of Chapters 1, 3, 5, and 6 were originally presented at theAnnual Conference of the International Studies Association in New Orleansin March 2002. Afterwards, we found additional collaborators for this projectto extend our coverage of the issue. While this volume was initially groundedwith some skepticism of EU efforts, we recognize that in many cases the EUhas played a positive role in promoting democracy, and we remain hopefulthat it can do better in those countries that remain reluctant democratizers.We hope that this volume can make a contribution in that direction.


  • 1 International norms, the EuropeanUnion, and democratizationTentative theory and evidence

    Paul J. Kubicek

    Numerous states, international organizations, and international non-governmental organizations take an active interest in promoting democracyand human rights across the globe. Alliances, trade pacts, and economicassistance are offered as means to encourage political liberalization or fosterdemocratic consolidation. Whereas in the initial literature on democratiz-ation international factors and agents were assigned an indirect, usuallymarginal role,1 in the post-Cold War environment these variables havearguably become more decisive and exerted a more profound influence.2

    This has been most obvious in the countries of Eastern Europe, where onecan speak of the international influences of Gorbachevs reforms, the role oftransnational communications, the contagion effect that led communistregimes to fall like dominoes across the region, and the moral example ofWestern democracies as factors that spurred political change. Moregenerally, one can argue that the changes of 19891991 have created a newinternational environment more conducive for democratization, and indeedin the past decade one has witnessed numerous efforts to establish demo-cratic systems throughout parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Thenotion that democracies do not fight each other gives an added justificationfor democratic states to encourage the formation of democracies elsewhere.

    Among international actors interested in democratization, a leading roleshould be assigned to the European Union (EU). The EU itself, of course, iscomposed of fifteen democratic states, and in recent years it has madeseveral efforts to transform itself from primarily a trading bloc into animportant international actor in the political arena. Among changes in theEUs foreign relations have been an emphasis on democratization, humanrights, genuine pluralism, and the rule of law. These concerns have beenenshrined in European Council declarations dating from 1991, Associationand Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with former Communiststates, the Maastricht Treaty, the most recent Lom Convention, and in the1993 Copenhagen Criteria establishing democratic requirements for EUmembership.3 Development aid has been made increasingly conditional onthe recipients respect for human rights. Programs, such as PHARE (Polandand Hungary Assistance for the Restructuring of the Economy), have been

    R E C T O RU N N I N G H E A D

  • created to give the EU an extensive portfolio of support mechanisms for thenew democracies to the East,4 and obviously EU membership is dangledas a carrot to encourage political liberalization. Even in cases wheremembership is not being proffered, as in Ukraine or in North Africa, the EUhopes that it can provide some incentives to further political reform.

    Have EU efforts paid off ? This is a tough question to answer, as it can bedifficult to untangle the various domestic and international factors that workfor and against democratization. In Eastern Europe, one can point to a hostof factors the legacy of communism, corruption, economic difficulties,weakness of civil society, heterogeneous populations that will affectdemocratic consolidation. In Turkey and North Africa, one might addcultural factors and problems of religious and ethnic conflict. However, atleast when looking at the spread of democracy to this point in Europe, mostobservers have been inclined to the give the EU credit for fostering orpromoting democratization. Many point to the role of the EU (then theEuropean Community [EC]) in encouraging regime change in SouthernEurope, by providing moral, political, and economic support to democra-tizers in Greece, Portugal, and Spain. The line of reasoning is usually ratherstraightforward: the prospect of EC membership was attractive enough tohelp democratizers win any argument against would-be opponents. InWhiteheads words, the EC acted as a powerful catalyst for change inSouthern Europe, by providing an elaborate structure of economic andsocial incentives, so that strategies and calculations of political elites havebeen strongly shaped by the pressure of externally designed rules and struc-tures.5 However, some would contend that the ECs role was not necessaryor decisive (democracy was over-determined by a number of variables)and a few have even pointed to problems engendered by EC interference inthese transitions.6 One proponent of EU activity concedes that the EUs rolehas been more assumed than proven.7

    When one turns to more recent transitions in Eastern Europe, again onesees the EU playing a prominent role, and certainly there are signs ofsuccess. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia appear to havemet the democratic criteria for membership (and, together with several otherstate...


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