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Political Parties in New Democracies in Eastern Europe



This course aims to provide students an overview of political parties’ development in the new democracies from Eastern Europe. In this respect, it will review the party system’s dynamics and its long-term implication for the continuity, legitimacy, and functioning of political parties. The readings are selected to familiarise students with the particularities of Eastern European politics. The lectures are designed to complement the information received from texts and to delve into issues related to the socio-economic and institutional environment in which parties act and exert their influence, the positioning over policy issues, and the implications of party system (in)stability in the region. The main topics addressed by this course are: the formation of political parties in new democracies, their role in the political system, parties’ relationships with the state and society, their organisational capacity, and the ties with the electorate.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, class discussions.


Approximately 700 pages:

  • Frances Millard (2004), Elections, Parties, and Representation in Post-Communist Europe 1990-2003, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • A course pack including book chapters and journal articles will be available in a folder at the FSW Library.


The final grade is based on:
Final paper: 50%
Weekly short assignments: 40%
Class activity and participation: 10%.

Details are included in the syllabus and will be extensively discussed in class during our first session.

Course entry requirements

Comparative Analysis of Political Systems


Tuesday 7 September t/m 26 oktober, 13.00-15.00, SA37 and
Wednesday 8 September t/m 27 oktober, 13.00-15.00 uur, 1A33.