Is East-Central Europe Backsliding?

Issue Date October 2007
Volume 18
Issue 4
Page Numbers 5-6
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Since its very first issue back in January 1990, the Journal of Democracy has devoted extensive coverage to the transformation in East-Central Europe that began with the sudden fall of communist regimes in 1989. Though many of the articles that we published on this region emphasized the problems and difficulties which lay in the path of democratic transition, they also recounted the undoubted advances that were being achieved. Our last systematic look at the region was published in January 2004 under the heading “Europe Moves Eastward.” As that title indicates, the focus was on EU and NATO enlargement, which seemed to represent the culmination—a decade and a half after the fall of communism—of East-Central Europe’s march toward democracy. Though the essays in that cluster were not without their notes of caution, the deepest concern they expressed was over the fate of those postcommunist states that were stranded “beyond the new borders” of the European Union.