Democracy, Legal State, and Constitutional Change

Huib M. de Jong, Dick W.P. Ruiter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


    The revolutions of 1989 have radically changed the power structures in most Eastern European countries as well as the power balances between them. The changes taking place on the European continent give rise to many economic and political debates. Economic discussions are aimed at the development of free-market economies in Eastern Europe. This kind of economic order is deemed to be the best way to provide the goods and services necessary to meet the most fundamental needs of the population. As Glenny wrote in his book on the 1989 revolutions: ‘The goal of modern Western democracy may be appealing in theory to most East Europeans, but they are concerned first to ensure a basic standard of living for their children’ (Glenny 1990: 183). Political debates focus on the structure of society (unionism, federalism) and the possibility of enlarging the influence of the people. In order to organize the latter, consensus on the criteria for membership in the political society is necessary. This amounts to decisions regarding the inclusion or exclusion of individuals, or even entire minority groups. In this respect actual political reality frequently shows smoke on the horizon. The collapse of the old authoritarian structures under Soviet supremacy ignited many collective outbursts of nationalistic sentiments, often ending in violence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGovernment and Markets
    Subtitle of host publicationEstablishing a Democratic Constitutional Order and a Market Economy in Former Socialist Countries
    EditorsHendrikus J. Blommestein, Bernard Steunenberg
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-015-8366-4
    ISBN (Print)978-90-481-4455-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Publication series

    NameInternational Studies in Economics and Econometrics
    PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
    ISSN (Print)0924-5170


    • Legal state
    • Political theory
    • Liberal democracy
    • Individual freedom
    • Individual citizen


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