Uncertain Path: Democratic Transition and Consolidation in Slovenia

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Texas A&M University Press, Jun 7, 2006 - Political Science - 268 pages
In this case study of the politics of transition in Eastern Europe, Rudolf Martin Rizman provides a careful, detailed sociological explanation and narrative on the emergence of independent statehood and democracy in Slovenia, a small state whose experience is of interest to policy makers, scholars, and serious students of Eastern Europe. In his focus on the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime, Rizman analyzes social processes and political issues in the context of the Third Wave of democratization, identifying “zones of certainty and uncertainty.”
Challenging many generally accepted ideas about small states and their transitions to democracy, this book places Slovenia’s pattern of democratization in the wider regional context of eastern and central European post-communist transitions. Rizman shows, for example, that a country’s size is merely one factor out of many, and while Slovenes considered the influence of larger states, their choices were not particularly circumscribed by them.

Opening with a discussion of the relevant theoretical environment in sociology and political science, Rizman illuminates the complex processes of democratic transition and consolidation. From there, the book analyzes the internal and external processes and factors relevant for Slovenia’s successful trajectory from existence as an ethnically defined sub-nation to an internationally recognized nation-state.
After careful consideration of religious, political, military, intellectual, and other socio-political stakeholders in the region, including the somewhat disturbing evidence of the salience of a new “radical Right”, Rizman concludes that Slovenia is irreversibly set on the course of democratization, with indications of having reached the early stages of consolidation.

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A Theoretical Understanding of the Transition to Democracy
The Making of a Nation and Political Pluralism
From a People to a NationState
The Emergence of Political Pluralism
The Actors in Democratic Transition
Intellectuals and Politics
The Church and Religion after Communism
The Radical Right Challenge
In Lieu of a Conclusion Toward Democratic Consolidation
Chronology 19742005

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About the author (2006)

Rudolf Martin Rizman, a native of Slovenia, holds doctorates from both the University of Ljubljana and Harvard. He teaches sociology and political science at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Bologna and has lectured at numerous universities in Europe and the United States.

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