Party roles in young democratic regimes - Challenging dynamics in a modern political environment
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The democratic situation for young regimes in Eastern Europe is one hallmarked with challenges. This master thesis focuses on three young democracies, Hungary, Latvia and Slovenia, in order to shed on these challenges. The framework is based on the functionalistic approach of Key (1964), dividing the realm into a micro, a meso and a macro level, and the dynamic approach of Easton (1990). Empirical observations from the old democracies are put into the framework setting, providing a reference mode. Data are of both a quantitative and a qualitative nature and are collected from second-hand sources. The presentation of the countries identifies a pattern of weak micro level roles, creating weaknesses on this and the meso level. The macro levels are stronger, but the discussion shows a great distance between electorate and government, which questions the soundness of the system. During my comparison between the younger regimes and old democracies, a universal pattern is established on the micro level. However, the consequences on the meso and the macro level are different. Old regimes have a robust institutionalized democracy with long traditions. This system is inertia for rapid changes in the democratic environment. The young regimes, however, do not have this advantage as their institutional structures are built in the modern political reality. Key's framework treats the political parties as an exclusive channel for political participation. The roles maintain, however, modern political development redistributes the roles to other actors and institutions.