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Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitions

Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitions

MITCHELL A. ORENSTEIN
STEPHEN BLOOM
NICOLE LINDSTROM
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zwb44
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    Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitions
    Book Description:

    When Vladimir Putin claimed "outside forces" were at work during the Ukrainian Orange Revolution of 2004, it was not just a case of paranoia. In this uprising against election fraud, protesters had been trained in political organization and nonviolent resistance by a Western-financed democracy building coalition. Putin's accusations were more than just a call to xenophobic impulses-they were a testament to the pervasive influence of transnational actors in the shaping of postcommunist countries.Despite this, the role of transnational actors has been downplayed or dismissed by many theorists. Realists maintain that only powerful states assert major influence, while others argue that transnational actors affect only rhetoric, not policy outcomes. The editors of this volume contend that transnational actors have exerted a powerful influence in postcommunist transitions. They demonstrate that transitions to democracy, capitalism, and nation-statehood, which scholars thought were likely to undermine one another, were facilitated by the integration of Central and East European states into an international system of complex interdependence. Transnational actors turn out to be the "dark matter" that held the various aspects of the transition together.Transnational actors include international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, corporations, banks, foundations, religious groups, and activist networks, among others. The European Union is the most visible transnational actor in the region, but there are many others, including the OSCE, NATO, Council of Europe, the Catholic Church, and the Soros Foundation.Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitionsassembles leading scholars to debate the role and impact of transnational actors and presents a promising new research program for the study of this rapidly transforming region.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7344-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. 1 A FOURTH DIMENSION OF TRANSITION
    (pp. 1-18)
    Mitchell A. Orenstein, Stephen Bloom and Nicole Lindstrom

    Transnational and nonstate actors have exerted a pervasive influence on postcommunist transitions in Central and East Europe. No aspect of politics has been untouched. To start with, transnational actors, including international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, corporations, foundations, and activist networks, have played a key role in processes of democratization in postcommunist Europe. When Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Orange Revolution in Ukraine was fomented by outside forces, he appealed to xenophobic impulses and underestimated the domestic sources of protest. Yet no one could suggest that he was entirely wrong. In fact, a diverse mix of transnational actors was...

  2. 2 THE EUROPEAN UNION THE CAUSAL BEHEMOTH OF TRANSNATIONAL INFLUENCE ON POSTCOMMUNIST POLITICS
    (pp. 19-37)
    Milada Anna Vachudova

    Since 1989 , the democratization of East Central Europe has brought unprecedented attention to the role of transnational actors in shaping domestic political change. Throughout history, external actors have impacted domestic politics—through military, diplomatic, and economic influence or interference. But the democratization of East Central Europe brought a sea change in the apparent diligence, perseverance, and success with which transnational actors have promoted particular policies in the context of advocating one overarching regime type, liberal democracy.¹

    The end of the cold war removed the main justification for Washington to support authoritarian regimes in the third world, confining Moscow’s support...

  3. 3 TRANSNATIONAL AGENDAS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE BALKANS
    (pp. 38-55)
    Nicole Lindstrom

    Human trafficking has become a global obsession of the international community in the past decade (Krastev 2005).¹ Numerous transnational actors are involved in combating trafficking, including the UN, the International Organization on Migration (IOM), the EU, the United States, and many international nongovernmental organizations. The Balkan countries are a focal point of transnational antitrafficking efforts, since traffickers have capitalized on the region’s porous borders, rampant corruption, and high unemployment (Friman and Reich 2007). An expanding network of local nongovernmental, state, and transnational actors are directly involved in every stage of the antitrafficking policy-making process in the Balkans. One might argue,...

  4. 4 MINORITY TRADITIONS AND POSTCOMMUNIST POLITICS HOW DO IGOs MATTER?
    (pp. 56-76)
    Wade Jacoby

    When have IGOs been able to promote institutional and policy changes in postcommunist states? In the past few years, a framework is emerging to tackle this question. Though a number of recent books explore a rich variety of causal mechanisms, one can distill from them a widespread interest in the twin factors of external IO leverage and the attractiveness of norms operative outside the postcommunist region but in some way attractive to policy makers there (see De Nevers 2003; Ekiert and Hanson 2003; Gold-smith 2005; Grabbe 2004, 2006; Henderson 2003 ; Hughes, Sasse, and Gordon 2004; Jacoby 2000, 2004; Kelley...

  5. 5 TWO-TRACK DIFFUSION AND CENTRAL BANK EMBEDDEDNESS THE POLITICS OF EURO ADOPTION IN HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC
    (pp. 77-97)
    Juliet Johnson

    Why did central bankers in the postcommunist European Union accession states initially press strongly for a rapid adoption of the euro, despite the questions and costs involved? Why did their efforts fail in the Czech Republic and Hungary? Most important, what can these events teach us about the nature of the EU convergence process in Europe’s postcommunist states?

    Postcommunist Europe’s dramatic moves toward greater convergence with European Union norms and forms—especially from the mid-1990 s onward—generated contentious scholarly debate over the underlying impetus for this change. Did the material incentives and implicit coercion inherent in the EU accession...

  6. 6 TRANSNATIONAL ACTORS AND BANK PRIVATIZATION
    (pp. 98-117)
    Rachel A. Epstein

    The transition to democracy and capitalism in Central and East Europe should have made postcommunist countries more like their West European counterparts. And in some respects it has. But in other respects, the newest members of the EU have embraced the market more vigorously than states traditionally have been willing to do, resulting in historically unprecedented levels of foreign ownership of Central and East European financial institutions.¹ This chapter argues that transnational actors were key to producing the high levels of foreign ownership, specifically in banks, that had materialized by 2004 in much of Central and East Europe.

    There were...

  7. 7 A TRANSNATIONAL CHURCH IN NATIONAL SETTINGS
    (pp. 118-141)
    Timothy A. Byrnes

    The Roman Catholic Church is a transnational institution with global scope and reach, but with particularly deep social and political roots in Europe. There was a time when the Catholic Church was a central governing institution on the European continent. The Holy See exercised temporal rule over much of Italy, while popes crowned emperors and kings. The church’s Latin was the language of official communications and documents, and European society and politics were organized and structured around the theme and concept of Christendom. All of these aspects of Catholic power have now been consigned to the past, of course, but...

  8. 8 CORRUPT EXCHANGE IN DIVIDED SOCIETIES THE INVISIBLE POLITICS OF STABILITY IN MACEDONIA
    (pp. 142-161)
    Robert Hislope

    Anticorruption rhetoric is a central part of the dominant discourse that shapes global politics today.¹ The UN, the EU, the World Bank, and scores of other IGOs, as well as an array of NGOs (Transparency International, the Open Society Institute, etc.) have identified corruptionas themajor barrier to economic and political development. Since the 1990s, the international community has launched a host of initiatives and campaigns aimed at eradicating corrupt practices and promoting good governance in developing southern countries and transitioning eastern countries (Eigen 2002; World Bank 2000). Behind this new, post–cold war consensus is the premise that...

  9. 9 USING AMERICA AGAINST EUROPE POLAND’S NATIONAL REACTIONS TO TRANSNATIONAL PRESSURE
    (pp. 162-187)
    David Ost

    Why did Poland side so strongly with the United States in the conflict between Europe and America in 2002–2003, despite having far more economic ties in Europe?¹ Why did it give such support to the invasion of Iraq? The common view is that it did so because Poles sympathized more with America’s position, due to their own long fight against oppressive dictatorship. A close reading of the Polish foreign policy debate, however, suggests something else. For what distinguishes this debate is howlittleit concerned Iraq, or even America, and how much it concerned Europe. Support for America appears...

  10. 10 FROM TRANSITION TO HEGEMONY EXTENDING THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF MILITARY ALLIANCES AND ENERGY SECURITY
    (pp. 188-212)
    Michael D. Kennedy

    There is great value in trying to figure the relative influence of and relationship between transnational and domestic actors in policy making and agenda setting. Much good work has been undertaken, notably in this volume, in specifying how that balance shifts across particular networks of influence and policy domains, and how these levels of action combine in various ways in relatively complex systems. I believe, however, that this kind of institutional analysis can direct our attention away from the foundations in broader power relations and global transformations that enable these institutional politics and foci to work. I propose, therefore, that...