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Creating sustainable democracy?, Canadian policy in the Visegrad countries in the post-Cold War period

by Griffiths, Ann L.

Abstract (Summary)
Creating Sustainable Democracy? Canadian PoIicy in the Visegrad Countries in the Post-Coid War Period In the 1990s, there is no one defig vision of democracy-it has evoived both across time and space. The different versions of dernocracy are related to different theoretical visions of the phenornenon. How one defmes democracy influences what steps one advocates in a process of democratization. This thesis postulates that there are two broad approaches to democratization. The two approaches are referred to here as the horizontal approach, which stresses the creation of linkages among citizens in democratization, and the vertical approach, which stresses the creation of the liberal elements of a liberal-democratic society. This thesis argues that between the two approaches there are three elements which should be present in a democratization policy toward Eastern Europe: (1) building democratic institutions; (2) facilitatuig economic transformation; (3) and creating democratic civil societies. Canada has noĆ® historicaiiy been involved with either Eastern Europe or democratization. The Cold War prohibited free interaction between East and West, and in the South, democratization was defined as the interdiction of cornmunism. Starting in the mid-1960s, this began to change. Canada began to incorporate considerations of human rights and democracy into its policy (aithough not always its practice) towards the South. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it provided a glorious opportunity for Canada to apply what it had leamed in its democratization policy in the South. It has not done this. This thesis argues that Canadian policy has focused on only two of the three elements--building democratic institutions and facilitating economic transformation-to the virtual exclusion of the third--creating democratic civil societies. Both the reasons for this, and its implications for the future of democracy in Eastem Europe, are unclear.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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