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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Problems of Early Post-Communist Transition Theory: from Transition from to Transition to
Author(s): Jovic, Dejan
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Keywords: Transition theories
Post-communist transitions
Eastern Europe
Europe, Eastern Politics and government 1989
Issue Date: 2010
Date Deposited: 10-Jun-2011
Citation: Jovic D (2010) Problems of Early Post-Communist Transition Theory: from Transition from to Transition to. Politicka Misao: Croatian Political Science Review, 47 (5), pp. 44-68.
Abstract: The paper critically assesses the main approaches developed within the theories of post-communist transitions in the 1990s by looking at early works of Przeworski, Fukuyama, Vanhanen and Schoepflin. The author argues that the post-communist transition theories departed from the original understanding of transition, as developed by O’Donnell and Schmitter in the 1980s. Instead of focusing on explaining the past, the post-communist transition theories constructed themselves as primarily normative, ie. forward-looking. They adopted key elements of ‘objectivist’ and normative approaches in analyzing political actions. In order to emphasise this anticipatory approach to analyzing political and economic transformations, the new ‘transitologists’ described transition as ‘transitiion to democracy’, rather than ‘transition from authoritarianism’. The author argues that some of the (self-admitted) failures of anticipatory transition theories in predicting events that led to 1989 in Eastern Europe were primarily due to their ‘objectivist’ approach in analyzing political actions.
Rights: The editor has granted permission for use of this article in this Repository. The article was first published in Politicka misao by Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb.

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