Challenges to the Democratisation of Post-Communist Nations in Eastern Europe

Topics: Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, World War II Pages: 14 (3607 words) Published: May 5, 2012
CHALLENGES TO THE DEMOCRATISATION OF POST-COMMUNIST NATIONS IN EASTERN EUROPE

Outline

Background..................................................................................3

Elements of Modern Democracy.................................................4

Inherent Problems in Pre-Communist History.............................5

Problems of Post-Communism....................................................6

Political Challenges.....................................................................9

Social Challenges.........................................................................9

Economic Challenges..................................................................10

Conclusion...................................................................................10

References....................................................................................11

Background

The Soviet Union came into being after the Red Revolution of Russia, that took place in October 1917 which toppled the Tsar of Russia and brought into forces the Communist Regime (Kenez, 1993). The Russian Revolution as it is popularly known advocated for the formation of a classless society that absorbed the peasants and gave them fair opportunities based on a socialist model of governance and statehood in Russia. The reach of this model was extended to other neighbouring lands and this effectively saw the formation of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union got involved in the 2nd World War after the Nazis disrespected their Nazi-Soviet Non-Agression Treaty with the Union and invaded Russia in 1941(The Invasion of Russia) . Of course, this was expected by the sceptical mind because the Communists hated Nazism and a large proportion of Hitler’s Mein Kampf was dedicated to demonising Communism as a Jewish conspiracy. With diplomatic efforts by Britain and USA, the Soviet Union joined in the war to fight on the side of the Allies. By early 1945, it was clear that the Nazis would lose the war. However, the pact that the Soviets signed with the Allies did not specify how conquered territory would be shared. Therefore, with an idea that the British and Americans would invade Germany from the Coast of France in the West, the Soviet Union made preparations to invade Germany from the East. It became apparent that what you conquered would revert to you. So by April 15, 1945, the Soviets had conquered nations, occupied by Germany from its frontiers up to a section of Berlin in Germany.

When the war was over in June 1945, the Russians signed several treaties with the Eastern European nations that subjected them to Communist rule (Dingsdale, 1999). These treaties included the CMEA and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation (Welfens, 1992). With this in play, these nations were ruled by policy set in Moscow for over forty years until the Soviet Union eventual collapsed in 1991. This marked the beginning of the end of a major system that controlled the entire lifestyle of a lot of people spanning from the Russian frontiers on the Coast of Japan to East Berlin in Germany. Fukuyama (1992) described this as the end of humanity, era or a civilisation for these peoples.

The nations that lay within this scope of land conquered and annexed by the Soviets after the Second World War are officially described by the United Nations today as Eastern Europe (consisting of Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine) as well as South Eastern Europe which include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia (UN Division of Geographical Areas).

After the collapse of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Russia became independent whilst other nations in Eastern Europe also broke off the Union. At this time, the eyes of the world looked sceptically at how these nations would embrace democracy and rebuild their economies, which were...

References: Birch, Anthony, H. (2007) The Concepts & Theories of Modern Democracy Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
Blacksell, Mark (1981) Post War Europe: A Political Geography London: Hutchinson.
Broadman, Henry G. (2005) From Disintegration to Reintegration: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in International Trade Washington: World Bank.
Dingsdale, Alan, (1999) “New Geographies of Post-Socialits Europe” The Geographical Journal Vol 165 No. 2 July 1999 pp 145 -153.
Eckstein, Harry & Gurr, Ted Robert (1975) Pattterns of Authority: A Structural Basis for Political Inquiry New York: Wiley & Sons
Fukuyama, F (1992) The End of History & The Last Man London: Penguin
Gillingham, John (2003) The European Union New York: Cambridge University Press
Ian-Hamilton, F
Kaufman, Richard, F & Hardt, John, P. (1993) The Former Soviet Union in Transition New York: M. E. Sharp Inc.
Kenez, Peter (1993) A History of the Soviet Union From the Beginning to the End University of Cambridge Press.
Michalak, Wieslaw, Z. & Gibb, Richard, A. (1992) “Political Geography & Eastern Europe” Area 24(4): 341 – 9
O’Loughlin, John, Ward, Michael D., Lofdahl, J
Uris, Leon (1958) Exodus New York: Bantam Books
Welfens, Paul, J
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