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Illiberal and authoritarian tendencies in Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe

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Edited By Florian Bieber, Magdalena Solska and Dane Taleski

Even though the democratic decline has been deemed a global phenomenon, the question of how it manifests itself in the postcommunist world and how it varies across different regions with divergent levels of democratic consolidation has not been sufficiently addressed yet. This book tries to fill the gap and examines the causes and nature of the deteriorating quality of democracy in Central Europe as well as the reversal or stagnation of democratization processes in Southeastern and Eastern Europe. The political elite plays a key role in initiating legislative changes that may lead to democratic backsliding. Its constant commitment to the rule of law and to the practice of selfrestraint in securing the independence of judiciary and the rights of political opposition appears hence indispensable for sustainable liberal democracy.
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8. Montenegro between Democracy and Authoritarianism (Jovana Marović)

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Jovana Marović

8.  Montenegro between Democracy and Authoritarianism

Reforms in Montenegro, which have been implemented with increasing intensity since the beginning of negotiation talks with the European Union in 2012, have limited impact and little influence on democracy in the country. Causes for the slow democratization process relate to captured institutions being under the strong influence of the same party for 28 years. The uninterrupted rule of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) has led to the close entwining of the party and the state at all levels: misuse of state resources for party purposes, control over the employment process and distribution of social assistance, lack of liability for frequent violations of the law, positioning of family members and loyal staff in managerial positions, are some of the mechanisms that the DPS has used. The DPS uses populist language to support these mechanisms, safeguarding its rule.

Keywords: authoritarianism, clientelism, democracy, leadership, populism

Introduction

Montenegro’s efforts towards democratic transformation have been conducted by the same political elite that emerged from the League of Communists of Montenegro (SKCG) after the introduction of a multiparty system in 1990. The DPS is a clientelistic political network and the system governed by the party combines autocratic and democratic elements. The party has experienced several shifts, such as change of name from the League of Communists of Montenegro to the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) in July 1991, or advocating Montenegrin independence...

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