APRIL 11, 2012: Topic 7
East vs. Western models of change:
The East has long periods of stasis punctuated by deep periods of rupture
The continuing importance of imperial structure in Eastern political development-
the East is organized into Czarist, Ottoman and Hapsburg empires until the end of
WW1. The states in play in 1945 in Eastern-Central Europe are relatively newly
formed, and they are states with relatively short experiences of democratic
Czarist Empire is replaced by a political structure organized around the party state.
The party state is embedded in the political structure- there is a core to the USSR (a
Russian core), and the USSR is a hegemon in East and Central Europe, especially
after it consolidates over the East in 1945.
Eastern Europe is a society organized around the imperatives of the imperial core
(the USSR), and the states that make up Eastern Central Europe after 1945 don’t
have the attributes of a Westphalian state, and have limits to their external and
internal sovereignty. Their foreign policies are subordinated to the foreign policy
interests of the USSR, which continued to maintain the military prerogative to
intervene in the satellite state’s affairs.
Transition and consolidation of democracy is going to come much later than it does
in Western Europe.
1917: A political mould is set as a consequence of the Russia Revolution
The Russian revolution was both local and universal, and it was designed to remake
state and regime in Russia, and it was predicated on a position with universal
implications. The Revolution is local, but also to be exported, which shows an
ambitious foreign policy. This means the Soviet Union will be surrounded by hostile
1945: The mould is confirmed/entrenched as the Soviet Union extends its sway
1989: The Breaking of the Mould and Collapse of the Soviet Union
o This is a particular type of democratic transition. Democratic transition issued
in new states, and borders were not held constant in important cases
(particularly the USSR, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia). New state formation is
relatively peaceful in the Czech-Slovak case, and in general, the formation of new
states out of the collapse of the USSR is a non-violent transition to new states
and new regimes. Yugoslavia’s breakup leads to ethnic war. At the limit, wars
between ethnic groups and peoples where militaries are fielded. In these multi-
national societies, in a democratic transition is also new state formation, which
is a specific feature of democratic consolidation in the East.
o Of transition in the Soviet Union and bloc, they are “last-class dual transitions”
because they were a change of political regime as well as a change in economic
structure. The economy is embedded in a political structure and does not have