"Democratic Consolidation Challenged?" by Martin Brusis and Hauke Hartmann

May 16, 2012 - 11:00 - 12:40
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Gellner room (103)
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"Democratic Consolidation Challenged?" by Martin Brusis and Hauke Hartmann

Democratic Consolidation Challenged?

Findings of the Transformation Index BTI 2012 on political and economic developments in East-Central Europe 

Political freedoms are increasingly being curtailed in many countries around the globe. Over the past two years, rule of law and political participation rights eroded in particular in many southeastern and eastern European states, albeit from a comparatively high level. Moreover, despite many successes in overcoming the global financial and economic crisis, macroeconomic stability has suffered especially in European and Caucasian countries, due not only to external shocks, but also to domestic shortcomings in economic governance. These findings are highlighted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI), which examines the progress 128 developing and transition countries are making toward democracy and a market economy and evaluates the management performance of political elites every second year. As the BTI 2012 suggests, when socioeconomic expectations are not met and governance deficits are apparent, the likelihood of distrust in politics, reactionary populism and ultimately political repression increase. 

The presentation of the BTI 2012 results shall therefore focus on the following questions:

  • How can the state of democratic consolidation in East-Central Europe be assessed in international comparison? What are the major setbacks observed during the last two years? What factors favor the rise of populist movements, and how do they relate to infringements of the rule of law and political participation rights?
  • How did the governments in East-Central Europe cope with the global economic and financial crisis in international comparison? To what extent was macroeconomic instability a result of external shocks, and to what extent is it attributable to domestic governance deficits? What is the specific nature of socioeconomic discontent in East-Central Europe?


The discussion shall highlight the findings of the BTI 2012 on Hungary and shall put the scores and assessments in comparison to other East-Central European countries and in global perspective. 


Dr. Martin Brusis is managing director of a research network on “Institutions and Institutional Change in Postsocialism”, University of Munich. He has worked on comparative government, European integration, regionalization, East-Central and Southeast Europe. His recent publications include a special issue of the journal “Südosteuropa” on “Democracy and Market Economy in Southeast Europe” and an article on regional interest representation in Acta Politica. See also http://www.gsi.uni-muenchen.de/personen/drittmittel/brusis/index.html 

Dr. Hauke Hartmann is Senior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Director of the project “Shaping Change: Strategies of Development and Transformation” and the Transformation Index BTI. He received a PhD in History for his doctoral thesis on US human rights policy under Jimmy Carter and holds an M.A. in North American Studies (University of Berlin) and Latin American Studies (State University of New York). He previously was Fellow at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and worked for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

About the BTI:

The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) analyzes and evaluates the quality of democracy, a market economy and political management in 128 developing and transition countries. It measures successes and setbacks on the path toward a democracy based on the rule of law and a market economy anchored in principles of social justice. In-depth country reports provide the qualitative data used to assess these countries’ development status and challenges, and to evaluate the ability of policymakers to carry out consistent and targeted reforms. The BTI is the first cross-national comparative index that uses self-collected data to measure the quality of governance and provide a comprehensive analysis of countries’ policymaking success during processes of transition (www.bti-project.org).