This anthology illustrates political changes as a result of neoliberal economic and social policies as well as their impact on democracy at the national and European level. Five central issues constitute the framework for a general analytic approach, a detailed description of the country reports from Austria, Britain, Italy and the Czech Republic:
– What are the general economic and social conditions and prerequisites for participation? To what extent do these determine the quality of democracy, democratisation, and de democratisation?
– In what forms of political participation does the population engage and what political participation behaviour does it exhibit? What effects do these forms and behaviour patterns in political participation have on the quality of democracy, democratisation, and de-democratisation?
– What impact does the relationship between politics and the media have on the interaction between the quality of democracy, democratisation, and de-democratisation?
– What are the consequences of Europeanisation (shifting political competences to the European Union level) for the quality of democracy, democratisation, and de-democratisation at the national level?
– What reforms for democratisation and what counterstrategies to combat de-democratisation are possible and/or desirable?
This volume demonstrates parallels in the development towards democratisation on the basis of different lines of argumentation and additionally takes stock of a variety of major and minor democratic deficits in the above-mentioned countries as well as at the European level.
Erich Fröschl, Ph.D., political scientist, is former director of the Dr.-Karl- Renner-Institute/Vienna and since 1992 lecturer for political science at Vienna University.
Ulrike Kozeluh is a free-lance politologist, currently working under a mandate of the Council for Research and Technology Development.
Christian Schaller, Ph.D., free lance political scientist, working i.a. for the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development, member of Agora.