A case study of Montenegro, presentation at the Transylvanian International Conference in Public Administration, Cluj-Napoca, 2 November 2017
The European Union encourages and expects its prospective new member states to establish systems of medium-term strategic planning. A meaningful strategic planning process that involves informed choices of priorities and changing existing practices of policymaking is, however, difficult to institutionalize. The chapter sequence of EU accession negotiations pre-defines a policy agenda, leaving little scope for endogenously determined policy priorities. Commitments taken in cooperations with other external donors / actors require tailored strategic planning activities that tend to occur in parallel, emerging from line ministries and usually without prior coordination between departments. Existing routines of planning and budgeting need to be reorganized and adapted which also implies redefining the roles played by coordinating institutions. Ministers and their political advisors need to be convinced and familiarized with the new planning process, which is often associated with changing institutional culture.
How the European Union interacts with political competition in Eastern Partnership countries
Studia Europaea, 62 1 2017, 141-160
In the debate about the European Neighbourhood Policy, two positions may be distinguished: those who propose a stricter and more consistent use of democratic conditionality, prioritizing democracy over other EU objectives – and those who refuse to set compliance with democratic standards as a precondition for support, expecting democracy to emerge from closer linkages. The paper argues that both positions do not sufficiently recognize the selective effectiveness of EU conditionality. Democracy conditions can become effective if (1) dense societal, economic and cultural ties with the EU support their domestic acceptance and (2) ruling political elites are faced with a competitive opposition.
How the European Crises Affect East-Central Europe, in: Problems of Post-Communism, 63 (5), September 2016
The present article proposes to study and compare the state of democracy in East-Central European countries. Such a comparative survey is deemed timely because there have been electoral landslides, corruption scandals involving political leaders and mass protests in several of these countries. Popular satisfaction with democracy has declined and democratic accountability institutions have been eroded in Hungary and Poland. These developments pose questions about where these democracies are heading and how their paths are related to the crisis of European integration.
A workshop with Belgrade Open School staff, 16-18 May 2016
To upgrade their research capacity, think tanks need access to methodological and conceptual tools that have recently been developed by researchers in the field of policy analysis and evaluation. My three-day workshop with Belgrade Open School provided an overview on rationalist and institutionalist approaches of policy analysis, focusing on examples from Europeanization studies. Notions of causation and strategies to deal with confounding causes formed the basis of our discussion on evaluation methods. The workshop also included an introduction to regression and factor analysis, two key tools of empirical policy research.
Claudia Matthes and I prepared a paper for the panel: “Demokratieentwicklung in vergleichender Perspektive”, organized at the annual conference of the DVPW section on Comparative Politics, German Institute of Global and Area Studies, 25 – 27 February 2015
East-Central European Democracies Adrift? Trajectories and their Causes
Electoral landslides, corruption scandals involving political leaders, declining satisfaction with democracy, mass protests and the erosion of democratic accountability institutions in one of the countries, Hungary, raise questions about the development of East-Central European democracies. Our paper argues that these democracies are subject to several drift processes triggered by the crises of economic and European integration and the deeping dealignment between voters and political parties. The impact of these factors differs from country to country, depending on its configuration of institutional constraints, socio-political cleavages and citizens’ expectations. In the paper, we examine how these structural factors influence democratic governance in East-Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and why some of these democracies have been more resilient than others.
Article in: Regional and Federal Studies 24 3 2014, 301-319.
The article studies the impact of enlargement on subnational governments in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. It compares the resources and political constellations of subnational governments and analyzes how these variables interact with Europeanization to influence domestic intergovernmental relations, the management of Structural Funds and the EU relations of subnational governments. The article argues that stronger regional governments (in Poland and the Czech Republic) have been able to resist attempts to centralize intergovernmental relations. Decentralizing reforms occurred where incumbent governing parties dominated subnational government (Poland). Under ‘vertically divided’ government (Czech Republic), subnational governments sought unmediated access to EU institutions.
A lecture series on ethno-regional diversity and political integration in Central and Eastern Europe, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano, Winter School Federalism and Governance, 12 February 2014
• Does ethno-regional diversity still matter in Central and Eastern Europe
• How have CEE regions emerged?
• Why have the state socialist federations collapsed?
• What approaches exist to integrate ethno-regional diversity?
• Why have CEE states reformed their territorial organization?
• How does European integration affect regionalization in CEE?
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.