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The International Promotion of Political Norms in Eastern Europe: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis

The International Promotion of Political Norms in Eastern Europe: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis
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   obert Schuman   The International Promotion of Political Norms in  Eastern Europe: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis -  Frank Schimmelfennig    Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper SeriesVol 5 No 28 August 2005   This publication is sponsored by the EU Commission    The Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series The Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series is produced by the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Miami, in cooperation with the Miami European Union Center. These monographic papers analyze ongoing developments within the European Union as well as recent trends which influence the EU’s relationship with the rest of the world. Broad themes include, but are not limited to: ♦   EU Enlargement ♦   The Evolution of the Constitutional Process ♦   The EU as a Global Player ♦   Comparative Regionalisms ♦   The Trans-Atlantic Agenda ♦   EU-Latin American Relations ♦   Economic issues ♦   Governance ♦   The EU and its Citizens ♦   EU Law As the process of European integration evolves further, the Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Papers is intended to provide current analyses on a wide range of issues relevant to the EU. The overall purpose of the monographic papers is to contribute to a better understanding of the unique nature of the EU and the significance of its role in the world. Miami European Union Center    Jean Monnet Chair Staff:   University of Miami Joaquín Roy (Director) 1000 Memorial Drive Aimee Kanner (Editor) 101 Ferré Building Roberto Domínguez (Research Assistant) Coral Gables, FL 33124-2231 Nuray Ibryamova (Research Assistant) Phone: 305-284-3266 Markus Thiel (Research Assistant) Fax: (305) 284 4406 Wendy Grenade (Associate Editor) E-Mail: Eloisa Vladescu (Editorial Assistant) Web:      The International Promotion of Political Norms in Eastern Europe: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis   Frank Schimmelfennig   The Jean Monnet Chair University of Miami Miami, Florida August 2005   ∗  Frank Schimmelfennig is Senior Research Fellow at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research, University of Mannheim since 2002. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen in 1995. From September 2005, he will be Professor of European Politics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich. Schimmelfennig has published widely on the international politics of Europe. Recent books include The EU, NATO, and the Integration of Europe. Rules and Rhetoric  (Cambridge University Press and winner of the first European Union Studies Association book prize for the best book published in 2003 and 2004), The Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe  (co-edited with Ulrich Sedelmeier, Cornell University Press 2005), and The Politics of EU Enlargement. Theoretical Approaches  (co-edited with Ulrich Sedelmeier, Routledge 2005). His articles have appeared inter alia  in  European Journal of  International Relations, International Organization, Journal of Common Market Studies, and  Journal of  European Public Policy .   1 The International Promotion of Political Norms in Eastern Europe: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis φ  Introduction After the end of the Cold War, the main regional organizations of Europe – the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) –  proclaimed human rights, liberal democracy, and peaceful conflict management to be the normative foundations of the New Europe. 2  Moreover, they defined support for political change as a new core task for themselves. They provided expertise and training to the transformation countries, gave financial support to the emerging civil societies and  parties, and mediated in cases of conflict. They monitored the establishment and functioning of democratic institutions and the rule of law; they made financial assistance and the integration of the transformation countries into the Western organizations dependent upon compliance with their political norms and, in a few instances, intervened militarily to stop civil war and massive human rights violations or (such as in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo, or Macedonia). About one and a half decades later, ten consolidated East European democracies are or are about to become EU and NATO members. By contrast, other countries of the region (most of them in the Balkans) have not yet achieved democratic stability. Others still, mainly successor states of the Soviet Union, are consolidating autocracies rather than democracies. These divergent developments raise the question under which conditions European organizations have had an effective impact on compliance with norms of human rights, liberal democracy, and peaceful conflict management in Eastern Europe. In answering this question, the article starts from two basic models of international rule  promotion – external incentives and social learning – used in different strands of International Relations research. First, in the context of the rationalist-constructivist debate in International Relations, constructivist scholars have begun to develop theoretical accounts of “international socialization” that go beyond the material  bargaining frameworks dominant in rationalist IR theory (for overviews, see Finnemore 1996; Finnemore and Sikkink 1998; Checkel 2004). These accounts are based on φ  The research reported in this article has been supported by a grant of the German Science Foundation (DFG) and by funding of the Mannheim Center for European Social Research. Both are gratefully acknowledged. I am also highly indebted to my colleagues in this project, Stefan Engert and Heiko Knobel, for sharing their case study data and insights with me. Finally, I wish to thank Daniele Caramani, Guido Schwellnus and audiences at the Bologna conference of the ECPR’s Standing Group on the EU and at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim for their helpful comments. 2  See, for instance, the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe.     2  processes of social influence (Johnston 2001), argumentation (Risse, Ropp and Sikkink 1999) or persuasion (Checkel 2001) and include deep effects of interest and identity change. Second, the literature on international conditionality, which focuses mostly on the lending conditionality of International Financial Institutions (IFIs), also contrasts  bargaining and social learning models and arrives at a skeptical assessment of the effectiveness of bargaining conditionality (see e.g. Kahler 1992; cf. Checkel 2000). Similarly, the literature on “Europeanization”, the impact of the EU on member state institutions, political processes, and policies, distinguishes “domestic change as a process of redistribution of resources” from “domestic change as a process of socialization and learning” (Börzel and Risse 2003; cf. Héritier et al. 2001). Both models identify different conditions as crucial for the effectiveness of international norm promotion. Whereas the external incentives model focuses on the size and credibility of incentives provided by international organizations as well as domestic veto points and costs of adaptation, the socialization accounts emphasize the authority of the socialization agency, the legitimacy and domestic resonance of the norms, and the identity and cognitive priors of the target actors. In this article, I will test the causal relevance of the explanatory factors suggested by both models in a comparative analysis. This test seeks to go beyond existing research on the international promotion of  political norms in Eastern Europe. 3  While there are numerous case studies in this field (see e.g. Linden 2000; 2002; Pridham 2001; 2002; Zielonka and Pravda 2001), systematic theoretical and comparative research is only just emerging (Kelley 2004; Kubicek 2003; see also Vachudova forthcoming). These studies mostly employ a similar theoretical framework contrasting rationalist and constructivist mechanisms and conditions. Paul Kubicek and his collaborators study seven countries and evaluate twelve variables stemming from a “convergence” (social learning) and a “conditionality” (external incentives) framework. However, the cases are aggregated at the country level, which is  problematic because conditions vary between issue-areas and are subject to change over time. Moreover, the design of their comparison does not permit a rigorous analysis of the explanatory power of the independent variables. 4  In contrast, Judith Kelley (2004) conducts a statistical analysis at the level of individual issues at various time points and finds that external incentives were generally necessary to overcome domestic opposition and bring about policy change. However, her cases are limited to issues of ethnic conflict and minority rights in four Eastern European countries. Finally, Jon Pevehouse (2002a; 2002b) analyzes – and confirms – the influence of regional organizations on democratic transitions and consolidation more generally. He does not, however, distinguish between the influences of external incentives and social learning in his empirical analysis and his data ends with 1992, that is, before the period of democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe. 3  I do not take into consideration here the literature on the transfer of specific policy rules. See. e.g. Jacoby forthcoming. 4  The same criticism applies to previous work by me and my collaborators. See e.g. Schimmelfennig, Engert and Knobel (2003).
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