Stability and Stir
The Transition Set
In a maxim of political science, a society in transition is symptomatically a halfway society (Mainwaring, O’Donnell and Valenzuela, 1992; Hagopian, 1993; Linz and Stepan, 1996; Diamond, 1999). Political transitions begin with political emancipations and label swap. The rest is changing with different degrees of swiftness. When it comes to the transition of a society from a non-democratic regime to a democratic one, the debate is typically heated around three broad explanations: features of the social and political structure, economic and social background and, beliefs and attitudes of the citizens (Rustow, 1970). To provide context for discussing the transition of the electoral ingredients, this chapter sifts evidence on each of these three dimensions in the case of Romania. The first part lays out an assessment of the political environment and players that were inherited from the old regime as well as those that were novel in the new society. The second scrutinizes variables that portray the structure of the society as a whole. The third takes up opinions and perceptions of the Romanian post-communist realities.
Old and new ingredients in the new political environment
In the early 1990s, the broader setting of the Romanian society was dominated by endemic uncertainty. Social unrest was rambling in the months following the collapse of Ceausescu’s regime as huge street manifestations broke out in major cities against the new power structures composed mainly of people from the second and third layers of the Communist Party. The uncertainty barometer...
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