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Docs en anglais
publié le 22/08/2012
Document de 9 pages au format WORDTweeter
The purpose of this essay is to challenge the strong perception that democracy is fully involved in the Culture and the Identity of Poland and Czech Republic by contrasting the identification of Poles and Czech with their voting behavior. By analyzing those two case studies and generalizing them to Central Eastern Europe, I intend to question more common opinions about Europeanization, democratic transition and the link between culture and identity.
Democracy is one of the fundamental values of the European Union (EU); if the identification with democracy seems to be powerful and interiorized by European institutions as well as by Member States, several voices have showed the necessity to improve the democratic legitimacy of the EU . Taking in consideration that democracy is the power of the people to rule themselves by themselves ; the legitimacy of democracy in Europe is strongly linked to the participation of its citizens. According to me, all sciences which intend to understand the process of democracy and democratic societies, should take more in consideration the people.
Furthermore, historically different kinds of democracy have been built in Europe and thus different perceptions of democracy have been grown on this mainland. The last process of European enlargement has shown the importance of the political criteria and most of all the necessity of being a stable democracy to “join the club”. Several democratic transitions could have been seen during this process, but the most impressive one can be seen after the collapse of the Communist bloc when during the 1990's, when a number of undemocratic states – with geographical, historical and cultural similarities – chose the way of democratization and in the same time showed their will to integrate the EU. In 2004 and 2007 ten of those post-socialist countries respected the criteria and integrated the EU. On those ten countries, some of them – Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and from 1993 Czech Republic and Slovakia – were seen as the champions of the democratic transitions.
[...] If Czech and Polish dissidents were both at the beginning, reformists of the socialist state whishing a “socialism with a human face”, the political movements born during the 1960's and 1970's were re-enforced during the 1980's started to claim more than social conditions and changes and based their demands on a change of system. Thus the legitimacy of democracy was re-appearing and appropriated by the leaders of the dissident movements against the communist system. Here as well, as we will develop it further, a dichotomy appeared making difference between “democrats” and communists. (...)
Table of Contents:
I) The perception of democracy through Polish and Czech history
II) The appropriation of democratic legitimacy by the elites and the “Return to Europe”
III) Democratization and Europeanization: an ambiguous relation?
IV) A failure of behavior: turn-outs in Czech Republic and Poland
V) A cultural democracy?
Docs en anglais publié le 22/08/2012
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