Democratization in Central and Eastern Europe and the Minority Issues
Janusz Mucha 1  
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AGH University of Science and Technology
Publication date: 2008-02-05
Polish Sociological Review 2007;160(4):379–400
The aim of this article is to present some ramifications of the democratization processes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) since 1989. The analysis concentrates on relations between the new dominant groups and cultural (mostly national and religious) minorities. The author outlines the concepts of democracy under conditions of cultural pluralism. He concentrates on similarities and differences between three levels of relations between the dominant groups and minorities: “institutional,” “semi-institutional,” and “non-institutional.” CEE is not homogenous neither among the countries nor among these spheres. Moreover, relations between dominant groups and minorities do not seem to be much more complicated than in some (actually many)Western countries. However, it seems to be easier in CEE to express oneself on political and cultural maters without fear of governmental reprisal than without fear of societal reprisal.
This paper is a much broader version of my short article to be published shortly in England. It draws partly on ideas presented in English in my “Democratization and Cultural Minorities: The Polish Case,” East European Quarterly XXV, 4, 1992, pp. 463–482. Polish examples not included in the present paper can be found in the above mentioned publication. New ideas and materials devoted to CEE were discussed during a seminar at Institut fu¨r Soziologie—Osteuropa-Institut of the Freie Universita¨t Berlin in April 2007. I appreciate for all comments made by participants as well as for the opportunity to do research in the FU-Berlin’s libraries. Foundation for Polish Science (Mistrz Programme—Academic Grants for Professors) kindly supported this research.