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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

Avital Drucker POLI 212 Notes on Velerie Bunce’s ``The historical origins of the East-West divide: civil society, political society, and democracy in Europe`` -idea after WWII of a collective Europe -will Europe be unified soon? reasons for doubt -flourishing of liberal politics and capitalist economies after WWI gave way to increasingly protected economies, rise of alliances, growing political radicalism, and rise of fascism during interwar period, culminating in WWII -after WWII, ``long peace`` makes Europeans hopefully, but there were periods of long peace in Europe before, and only the Europeans who didn’t face conflict were hopeful -comparison of present day in Europe to that of the interwar period: ``As then, the continent today is divided between rich and poor capitalist states; well-established, stable democracies and democracies that are new, incomplete, and uncertain; and old and well-established states and states just formed``: European core (north and west) + European periphery (east and south). envy and inequality crucial to present-day Europe -focus of essay: look at core-periphery distinction in Europe by looking at East vs. West during the Cold War era -``Our particular concern will be with how long-term differences in the development of the state, economy, and society shaped civil and political society in eastern versus western Europe, and how these differences have affected in turn the establishment and the sustainability of democracy`` -analysis will focus on 4 time frames: 1. differences between eastern and western developmental trajectories from Roman times – WWI -west: political society grew out of civil society -east: political society arose later and response to oppressive states and western ideas – because of this, democracy had little grounding and was ``fatally flawed`` -east and west have both had influence of development of the other -``the east, by virtue of its geopolitical location, allowed the west to do what the east was never allowed to do; that is, evolve`` 2. contrasts between interwar eastern and western Europe 3. impact of divide after WWII between capitalist liberal democracy in west and state socialism in east 4. consequences of collapse of state socialism for development of democracy in Eastern Europe -allowed for vigorous political and civil society, and sustainability of democracy in Eastern Europe Caveats and Definitions -is it a good idea to divide Europe between east and west for the purposes of analysis? -``there is nothing fixed about the particular European divide that serves as the focus of this chapter`` -reason for selecting east-west divide as basis for analysis ``this is a divide that shaped the European political economy of the entire postwar period`` -and continues to define Europe -this is demonstrated if you compare the extremities of both sides: GB vs. Russia -definition of the ``European idea`` =``those innovations that took root in both theoretical debates and in political-economic th practice in the northwest quadrant of Europe from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19 century and that spread eventually to much of the rest of the world.`` includes 1. the sovereign state, which has territorial control and a monopoly on violence 2. separation of church and state, state and society, and economy and polity 3. individual freedom 4. rule of law 5. rational bureaucracy run by the elected 6. ``limited government, political representation, civil liberties, and political pluralism`` 7. competition as political process 8. private property, markets, and contracts as backbone of economy 9. political culture focused on realistic, not ideal, outcomes -five core concepts of the European idea: ``the nation-state, individual freedom, societal autonomy, regime accountability, and competition among interests as the driving force of politics and economics`` -civil society = freedom of associational (independent of the state) -political society = organized activity of citizens in pushing for an agenda of who rules, or how to rule the state -``civil and political society are understood as necessary conditions for the development and the sustainability of democracy, as well as the overall quality of democratic life`` -because civil and political society influence the state -not a sufficient condition though (examples: Germany before democratic collapse; Serbia) -next section will focus on historical evolution of the ``two`` Europes from Roman times until WWI Geopolitical Location and European Evolution up to World War I -western Europe -separated from Asia -``consolidation of authority under the Roman Empire`` → degree of stability -rise of different political ideas (some introduced by the Greeks) that resurface with the Enlightenment -``a second factor of crucial importance was the collapse of the Roman Empire and the failure of the Germans by the eighth century to construct a durable political alternative`` →fragmentation of political authority, and economic and political decentralization -rise of feudalism: distinctive in that it was built from bottom-up (not top-down) -development of the modern state -because kings needed to finance wars and so they needed to stabilize access to revenue to fight these wars -so, to do this, kings needed to define the people they controlled within a defined territorial boundary, and to create a bureaucracy -this lengthens the time horizon of the population and of kings -entrance of age of absolutism -because of feudalistic legacies, state-building constrained (because of significant power of other actors besides kings, such as that of the aristocracy) -forced to have their nations become increasingly inclusive -east -geography: proximity to Urals and Asia → influenced by Asia -invaded from south and east → constant wars, lack of stability before and during Middle Ages (constantly changing politically and economically) -unlike west, does not homogenize -``the difficulty of access to and control over Eastern Europe meant that much of the region was incorporated only sporadically, if at all, into the Roman Empire`` -very limited influence of the power and ideas of the Roman Empire -so, Eastern Europe doesn’t get the legacies in ideas from the Roman Empire that the west has, namely ``tradition of law (and natural law), rational bureaucracy, private property, separation of church and state, and separation of state and society`` -Russia’s first formal law by Peter the Great, this law falls after his death -Peter the Great’s attitude toward the west – emulate it now so you can afford to ignore it later – important for east-west interactions later on -``if a key difference between east and west during Roman times was the fluidity of the former vs. the stability of the latter, then after the collapse of Rome their situations tended to reverse`` -east: continuity with the past. warlords and princes try to extend and consolidate political authority -expansion of absolutist power. absolutism + feudalism -socioeconomic development -much later in east because of instability and sparseness of population, fragmentation and instability of political authority. ``this created a gap by the late Middle Ages that was never to be closed and, indeed, grew larger over time between east and west in rates of urbanization; population growth and population density; technological innovate; marketization, and thus, overall economic expansion`` -diversity of competing networks slowed down development of said networks, leading to slower social and political integration and economic development -constant competition over boundaries → creation of empires, not states -imperial -struggles against these empires → couldn’t create a modern state because didn’t have enough legitimacy -``until WWI, then, the contrast in Europe was one between democracies, states, entrenched capitalism, and economic vitality in the west and authoritarianism, empires, early and uneven capitalism, and lower growth in the east`` -east allowed west to develop: west used east in preparatio
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