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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on political leadership in thirty or so countries in Europe and Asia that removed the Communists from power in the late-1980s/early-1990s. After contextualizing post-communist leadership studies, it focuses on six key debates in the field—the nature of the system; the optimal leadership model; the optimal time for adopting a new constitution; the type of leaders that emerge and the impact this has on systems; ‘second stage’ revolutions and their impact on leadership; and the impact of external conditionality on post-communist leadership. One key finding is that the debate in the 1990s on whether post-communist states should adopt presidential, mixed, or parliamentary systems can now be settled; parliamentarism has emerged as better than presidentialism for democratic consolidation. A second is that it appears to make little difference to democratic consolidation whether a new constitution is adopted early in the transition or somewhat later. The conclusions consider the impact of political culture on leadership arrangements.

Keywords: post-communism, transition, parliamentarism, presidentialism, semi-presidentialism

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