Rule of Law Reforms in the Shadow of Clientelism: The Limits of the EU’s Transformative Power in Romania
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University of Luxembourg
Publication date: 2011-07-13
Polish Sociological Review 2011;174(2):235–254
This study examines the role of theEuropean Union (EU) and domestic actors in the development of the rule of law (judicial quality) in Romania between 2000 and 2009. This study offers an empirical analysis of rule of law development across two key dimensions (1. judicial capacity, 2. judicial impartiality). The findings of the study show that, while the reform actions of domestic change agents and the EU led to improvement on the judicial capacity dimension of the rule of law (efficiency-related aspects), there was considerable persistence on the judicial impartiality dimension (power-related aspects). The limited transformative power of the EU is explained by the strong resistance of clientelistic veto players, who captured the reform process and undermined the creation of de facto rule of law.