Multiple Democracies in Europe
Political Culture in New Member States
By Paul Blokker
Routledge – 2010 – 224 pages
Series: Democratization Studies
This book provides an in-depth discussion and analysis of democracy in Europe, with a focus on the new EU member states, and makes an important and original contribution to the debate on the future of European democracy.
Author Paul Blokker seeks to provide a critical reconceptualization of the notion of democratic political culture by developing a ‘multiple democracies’ theoretical approach. He draws on debates in democratization theory and normative political theory, and presents a cultural-sociological approach for the analysis of democratization and democratic regimes. This approach emphasizes the historical and cultural embedment of democracy, identifies a potential variety of ‘ethics of democracy’ that underpin democratic political cultures, and points to the significance of democratic imagination in the interpretation and recombination of such ethics.
The book explores the relevance of this approach by analysing multiple political cultures and their role in the emergence of democratic regimes in three new member states - Hungary, Poland, and Romania - providing a detailed description and analysis of political cultures by means of the analysis of constitutional politics, constitutional texts, and political elite discourses, and the identification of distinct politico-cultural elements that distinguish these societies from each other.
It will be of interest to students and scholars of democracy, European studies, post-communist studies, political theory and comparative politics.
1. Introduction: The Cultural Dimension of Democracy Part 1 2. Democratization Theory and Political Culture 3. Political Theory and Political Culture 4. Democratic Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach 5. Post-Communism, Political Cultures, and Constitutionalisms Part 2 6. Constitutional Politics in Three New Member States 7. Political Cultures and Constitutional Texts 8. Political Elite Perceptions of National Democracy 9. Political Elite Perceptions of European Democracy 10. Conclusions
Paul Blokker is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Trento, Italy.