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Second Decade, Second Chance? Parliament, Politics and Democratic Aspirations in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova

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Over the past two decades, post-communist legislatures have diverged considerably regarding the roles that they play within their respective political systems. This paper focuses on three intermediate cases, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, in which legislative institutions have not successfully consolidated their role as central representative institutions. It suggests a limited set of factors have been critical in all three cases, both in engendering their broad similarity as intermediate cases and in setting them on different courses at critical junctures. First, none of the three negotiated the early transition through a radical break with their Soviet-era political systems. Second, each of the three countries is weakly constitutionalised. Third, initial decisions regarding institutional design were less than optimal. In each of the three cases lines of authority were left unclear which, in conditions of systemic instability, exacerbated elite conflict.
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Keywords: clientellism; constitutionalism; legislative institutionalisation; party fragmentation; superpresidential

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Political Science Department, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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