Cover of Elected Affinities by Kevin Deegan-Krause
Elected Affinities
Democracy and Party Competition in Slovakia and the Czech Republic
Kevin Deegan-Krause

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2006
352 pages.
$72.50

Cloth ISBN: 9780804752060

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Nobody talks about the "Czech miracle" anymore except with irony, and no longer can anyone refer to Slovakia as "a hole in the map of Europe." Times have changed rapidly and explanation has lagged far behind.

Elected Affinities is the first book-length project to account for the startling differences in the course of democratization in Slovakia and the Czech Republic during the 1990s. The book uses the natural experiment created by Czechoslovakia's dissolution to explore why some new democracies succeed and why some (nearly) fail. The comparison offers new insights into the inner workings of political parties and governments in postcommunist countries, and into the complex relationships among nationalism, economic reform, and political accountability in democracies, both new and old.

About the author

Kevin Deegan-Krause is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University.

"Elected Affinities presents a novel conceptual scheme built upon a wealth of informational building blocks, with a remarkably complete picture of Czech and especially Slovak politics in the 1990s."

—Carol Leff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Kevin Deegan-Krause's work is highly ambitious. It brings together an impressive amount of empirical research and historical background to explore the nature of non-democratic actions on the part of elected leaders. The author has produced a book that is rich in detail while solidly anchored to important theoretical concerns."

—Sharon Wolchik, George Washington University

"Elected Affinities offers an original theoretical framework to understand the emergence of democracy and party competition in post-communist countries. The empirical analysis focuses on Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The complex national, economic, and constitutional questions facing these countries offer a unique opportunity to highlight the interaction among the forces shaping political outcomes. This book is a must to read for social scientists who are interested in a theoretically sophisticated account of transition and consolidation of democracy."

—Hans-Dieter Klingeman, Free University of Berlin