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Laboratory Western Balkans

Regime Cha(lle)nge

Can Zeyrek

Even though comprehensive studies on political systems in the third wave of democratization have been made in the field of transformation, the situation in the Western Balkans remained underexposed. The reason for this might be that the fall of Yugoslavia and the emergence of new states are events that are to be attributed to the third wave of democratization. As Croatia has chosen the path of democracy, others still have problems with the rule of law. This book draws the political culture approach as a focal point providing a comprehensive understanding of transformations. The aim of this volume is to conceptualize the approach of embedded transformation.

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The second volume of ‘Laboratory Western Balkans’ conceptualizes the approach of embedded transformation which was presented in the first volume in 2014. Further research on this concept is being supported by the Scientific Research Projects Fund (BAP) of Gediz University with the opportunity to share the findings and prospects at the Start-Up Conference on “State Collapse and Transition after Civil War – From Liberalization to Democracy or Authoritarianism? The Post-Yugoslav Context” on April 11–12 2016 at the Centre for Transition and Transformation Research (CTTR) at Gediz University. These findings and prospects are compiled in this book.

The first article presents the concept of embedded transformation which aims at middle range theory-building and thereby contributing to transformation research. It explains major interdependent dimensions of conflict affecting the path toward democratic transformation. It serves as an empirical tool to trace the effects of state disintegration, foreign interference and the consequences of ethnic/religious conflict, etc., and to reconstruct the decisive political, economic and social context conditions broadly affecting processes of transformation. Ursula Birsl’s essay analyzes the empirical findings about the quality of democracies from all three democratization waves and illustrates that deficits and deformation processes are exhibited not only by new democracies, but even also by consolidated democracies, having emerged from the first and second democratization waves. Mustafa Türkeş and Tolgahan Akdan investigate the paradox of having a multi-party regime with fair elections on the one side and not being a democratic society on the other. In their...

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