Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: Does EU Membership Matter?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Does EU Membership Matter?, 1st Edition

Edited by Tim Haughton


192 pages

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What impact has EU membership had on party politics in Central and Eastern Europe? Although there is an emerging body of literature on the Europeanization of political parties, most of these accounts focus exclusively on Western Europe. Drawing on a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches including detailed studies of party programmes and manifestos, analysis of the media, semi-structured interviews and expert surveys, this collection provides not just conceptually informed, but also empirically rooted analyses of party politics in Central and Eastern Europe during the first four years of EU membership. In particular, the contributions assess the impact of EU membership on parties’ internal balance of power, the use of European issues in inter-party competition, the role of transnational party federations and the broader role the EU plays in party politics. The findings not only shed light on the impact of EU membership on party organization and programmes, they also inform broader debates concerning the dynamics, fluidity and motors of party politics in Central and Eastern Europe.

This book was based on a special issue of Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics.


This timely book explores EU impacts during the first four years of membership in the leading accession countries and traces their significance in a series of well-researched country studies. A further chapter explores the impact of EU entry on issue stances and programmatic coherence on a comparative basis. This is essential reading for those interested in the growing field of Europeanisation studies and the problematic development of party politics in Central and Eastern Europe. Professor Paul G Lewis, Open University, UK

This is a nuanced and sophisticated account of the impact of the European Union on post-communist, democratic, party politics. Both the comparative analyses and the in-depth country chapters show where, how, and why the EU influences domestic party politics—and why it so often does not, even in new member countries. This innovative volume undermines the common assumption that the EU is a powerful player in domestic politics and, as such, is a must read for scholars and policymakers alike.

Professor Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Driver, Conductor or Fellow Passenger? EU Membership and Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe Tim Haughton 2. The dog that did not bark? Assessing the impact of the EU on party politics in Hungary Agnes Batory 3. When in doubt, (re-)turn to domestic politics? The (non-) impact of the EU on party politics in Poland Aleks Szczerbiak and Monika Bil 4. Force Mineure? The Effects of the EU on Party Politics in a Small Country: The Case of Estonia Allan Sikk 5. The European Union: A Joker or Just an Ordinary Playing Card for Slovenian Political Parties? Alenka Krašovec and Damjan Lajh 6. Europeanization of Political Parties and the Party System in the Czech Republic Vít Hloušek and Pavel Pšeja 7. A Tool in the Toolbox: Assessing the Impact of EU Membership on Party Politics in Slovakia Tim Haughton and Marek Rybář 8. The Europeanization of Political Parties in Central and Eastern Europe? The Impact of EU Entry on Issue Stances, Salience and Programmatic Coherence Stephen Whitefield and Robert Rohrschneider

About the Editor

Tim Haughton is Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Central and Eastern Europe, University of Birmingham.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General