Parliaments have been the “central site” and parties the chief actors of the East Central European democratic transitions. The parliamentarization of political life and of its actors has taken the form of “overparliamentarization,” since the East Central European parliaments have had an overwhelmingly dominant role in politics. The parliamentarization has been both an institutional and an “educational” process for the new political elite. The institutional and cultural “deficit” of the newly emerging democratic parliaments has caused a contradiction between the opportunities and the capacities of the new parliaments, although they have made serious efforts to overcome this deficit.

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