Legislators are entrusted with key parliamentary functions and are important figures in the decision-making process. Their behaviour as political elites is as much responsible for the failures and successes of the new democracies as their institutional designs and constitutional reforms.
This book provides a comparative examination of representative elites and their role in democratic development in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It argues that as the drivers of the transformation process in CEE, individual and collective parliamentary actors matter. The authors provide an in-depth analysis of representatives from eleven national parliaments and explore country-specific features of recruitment and representation. They draw on an integrated dataset of parliamentary elites for individual, party family, and parliamentary variables over the 20 years following the collapse of Communism and develop a common framework for the analysis of variations in democratisation and political professionalisation between parliaments and political parties/party families across CEE.
This unique volume will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, elite research, post-communist politics, democratisation, legislative studies, and parliamentary representation.
Overall, this edited volume based on the "largest data collection on representative elites" in Central and Eastern Europe sets the ground for fruitful future research approaching questions from diverse fields of study. Thanks to the diverse substantial fields addressed by this innovative research, the book will be appreciated by students and researchers of post-communist politics and elite formation, democratization and democratic consolidation, Europeanization and European integration as well as minority and political representation. - Corinna Kröber, Universität Salzburg
1. Parliamentary elite formation after communism: an introductionELENA SEMENOVA, MICHAEL EDINGER, AND HEINRICH BEST Part I: Central European Parliaments 2. The Czech parliament on the road to professionalization and stabilization ZDENKA MANSFELDOVÁ 3. Hungarian MPs in the context of political transformation GABRIELLA ILONSZKI AND ANDRÁS SCHWARCZ 4. The Polish Diet since 1989: from fragmentation to consolidation JACEK WASILEWSKI AND WITOLD BETKIEWICZ Part II: Baltic 5. Parliaments Recruitment of parliamentary representatives in an ethno-liberal democracy: Estonia MINDAUGAS KUKLYS 6. Legislative elites in multi-ethnic Latvia after 1990 MINDAUGAS KUKLYS 7. Lithuanian parliamentary elites after 1990: dilemmas of political representation and political professionalism IRMINA MATONYTĖ AND GINTARAS ŠUMSKAS 8. Croatian parliamentary elites: towards professionalization and homogenization VLASTA ILIŠIN and GORAN ČULAR 9. The ‘waiting room’: Romanian parliament after 1989 LAURENŢIU ŞTEFAN AND RĂZVAN GRECU Part III: Post-Soviet Parliaments 10. Legislative elite formation in Moldova: continuity and change WILLIAM CROWTHER 11. Parliamentary representation and MPs in Russia: historical retrospective and comparative perspective OXANA GAMAN-GOLUTVINA 12. Parliamentary representation in post-communist Ukraine: change and stability ELENA SEMENOVA 13. Patterns of parliamentary elite recruitment in post-communist Europe: a comparative analysis ELENA SEMENOVA, MICHAEL EDINGER, AND HEINRICH BEST
All political systems are governed by ruling elites – presidents, prime ministers, ministers, civil servants, judges, mayors and councillors all play important roles in running our lives, while beyond the state people are picked to run international organizations. Social elites, such as global business or media tycoons, religious or ethnic leaders, play a major role influencing public policy. The books in this series examine all such political and social elites within local, national and international arenas. We are interested in theoretical and empirical analyses of elites. Whilst elites have been studied in the past, modern computing and electronic data-collection facilities mean that for the first time comprehensive information on the personal characteristics of elites, including factors such as birthplace, age, and social and educational background, can relatively easily be gathered. We can explore the ways in which people enter the elite, the networks they form and the policies they effect. Modern techniques open up exciting opportunities to examine our governors, their actions and interactions in more detail than ever before.