This book makes the case that several East Central European countries have emerged as fully consolidated democracies. As such, they may be integrated into the mainstream of political science research, and not consigned forever to a transitional category encompassing countries that are now fully democracies as well as some that are not democratic at all. The author outlines the steps of another transition - from post-communist studies to political science research. He demonstrates how institutionalist, or rational choice, theories can be applied to the analysis of political processes in the successfully democratized countries, and proposes a new research agenda for political scientists studying the region. The results of this work can enrich political science as well as our understanding of both democracy and the polities of contemporary Eastern Europe.
1. Going Beyond Post-Communist Studies; 2. The Study of Post-Communist Politics; 3. The Missing Agenda; 4. Reformulating Democratic Consolidation; 5. Imagining Post-Consolidation Studies; 6. Further Extending the Post-Consolidation Agenda; 7. Some Further Theoretical Considerations