Analysis Of Levitsky And Way's International Linkage And Democratization

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Steven Levitsky’s and Lucan A. Way’s “International Linkage and Democratization” explains, how increased ‘linkage’, meaning the intensification of relations and growing ties, with powerful institutions such as the EU, determines the accelerating democratization of authoritarian regimes. Levitsky and Way, claim that after the Cold War most former authoritarian regimes adopted formal democratic institutions; however, most of these regimes did not truly become democracies but remained autocratic in practice. Levitsky and Way, defined such regimes as ‘competitive authoritarian regimes’. After the cold war, such regimes could be found globally; however, some regions such as Latin America and Central Europe transformed into democracies; whereas, …show more content…
The authors also note that parts of the former Soviet Union like Georgia and Armenia were categorized as low-linkage and high-leverage countries. Both these countries were dependent on foreign aid and therefore leveraged by the west. On the other hand, neither Georgia nor any country of the South Caucasus was offered benefits of entering European networks and institutions as opposed to the countries of Central Europe. As a result, these countries had not enough linkage with the West that could have stopped the manipulation of elections, harassment of journalists and other processes that prevented a complete democratic transformation domestically.21 In central Europe, “The EU enlargement process enhanced both linkage and leverage in the aspiring countries, as membership entails a high level of integration and policy coordination, with regulations encompassing virtually every aspect of domestic governance” . Countries of the South Caucasus were excluded from the enlargement process and therefore did not have enough linkage to be reflected on domestic politics. The high leverage of the West on Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan did only deter full-scale authoritarian rule but without the possibility of an eventual EU membership, as in the case of Central Europe, the South Caucasus did not have the same incentive to democratize …show more content…
According to Schimmelfennig, it is a double puzzle because rationalist theory cannot explain such a decision because it does not fit into any rationalist cost-benefit analysis due to his believe that the costs of enlargement exceed the benefits. To the contrary, sociological perspectives due explain such a decision in terms of a common European, liberal community that shares a set of norms and values and stands up for each other. Similar views have been expressed by Friis (1998) arguing that pan-European identity was key to the Eastern enlargements and Sedelmaier (1998) believing that it was the ‘special responsibility’ of the EU to reintegrate the societies of Europe who were forced to be excluded from integration projects. On the other hand, sociological perspectives cannot explain the process that leads up towards the opening of accession negotiations. Therefore, Schimmelfennig believed that the Eastern enlargements had to do with a double puzzle that he tries to solve with “rhetorical action”. At first, rhetorical action was used to associate the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to the EU and after they adopted EU legislation and were already integrated to a large extent, they again used rhetorical action to point out to articles of the accession treaty that promise any European country the right of membership. Repeated reference to shared norms and values by the

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