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Two Decades of Divergent Post-Communist Parliamentary Development

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Post-communist parliaments have become increasingly different from one another over their first two decades. This two decade review considers seven parliaments: four in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia) and three in the former USSR (Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine). They have evolved over four dimensions of change: context of constitution and party system, rules and organisation, members, and civil society. At the end of the second decade, parliaments may be placed on two dimensions, of autonomy from the executive, and of party polarisation. Three background factors of transitions, legacies of communist era legislatures, and of international contacts are identified as sources of their divergent trends.

Keywords: legacies of communist legislatures; parliament-executive relations; parliamentary contexts; parliamentary structure and rules; post-communist legislatures

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Center for Legislative Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA 2: Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

Publication date: June 1, 2011


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