Twenty Years after the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Change, Continuity and New Challenges

Conference organized by the Project Network “Institutions and Institutional Change in Postsocialism“, German Association for East European Studies (DGO) and Frankfurt Institute for Transformation Studies (FIT), Berlin 1-3 December 2011

plakat_webThe dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 marked the collapse of a state, of an empire, and of a project of an alternative modernity. Initially, the collapse of the “Soviet civilization” seemed to provide an opportunity for the countries of the CEE and Eurasia to arrive in the West with its capitalist democracies, its liberal individualist values, and a global pax americana. History as a struggle between ideologies appeared to have reached its (liberal) end. This was an error of judgement, however. Since then, new, non-Western powers and global threats have emerged, and the historico-political region “Eastern Europe” has disappeared. Today, this region is more diverse than any other region in the world: while most of the countries of Central and Southeast Europe adapt successfully to the liberal standards of the West and are now members of the European Union, the post-Soviet states have embarked on a search for alternatives. Here, we encounter authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes and state-run capitalist economies, new regional cooperation and security alliances, as well as attempts to develop local models or to learn from other non-Western experiences, especially from China and the Asian “tigers”. read more

Regionalisierung in Mittel- und Osteuropa: Ursachen, Formen und Effekte

in: Kommunale Aufgabenwahrnehmung im Wandel: Kommunalisierung, Regionalisierung und Territorialreform in Deutschland und Europa, Hrsg.: J. Bogumil / S. Kuhlmann, Wiesbaden: VS 2010, 323-346.

Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich zunächst mit den Ursachen und Formen der Regionalisierungsprozesse in den zehn mittel- und osteuropäischen EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Unter Regionalisierung werden hier Reformen verstanden, die eine regionale Verwaltungsebene errichten und/oder ihre Kompetenzen und Ressourcen stärken. Dann werden die Effekte dieser Prozesse für die kommunalen Selbstverwaltungskörperschaften analysiert. Die kommunale Ebene war nicht nur Adressatin dieser Reformprozesse, sondern auch Akteurin, insofern als kommunale Verbände und Politiker in den Debatten über die Regionalisierung ihre eigenen Interessen vertraten. Aus der kommunalen Perspektive konnte eine Regionalisierung eine Dezentralisierung ermöglichen, aber barg auch das Risiko einer Rezentralisierung von Kompetenzen. read more

White Paper on Multi-Level Governance

In 2009, the EU Committee of Regions adopted a White Paper on Multi-Level Governance. During the public consultation of this document, I prepared the following opinion:

From a theoretical perspective, the most convincing strategy of institutional design would be to ensure a congruence between those affected by policies and those eligible to elect the political representatives who decide on these policies. Such a congruence of constituencies would create the best conditions for policymakers to be held accountable for their policies and thus strengthen the incentives for responsive policymaking. In contrast, an incongruence between those responsible for and those affected by a policy would provide incentives for unaccountable and unresponsive policymaking (e.g. negative external effects, moral hazard, freeriding). read more