In This Review

Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe, Volume I: Institutional Engineering
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe, Volume I: Institutional Engineering
Edited by Jan Zielonka
Oxford University Press, 2001, 493 pp.
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe, Volume II: International and Transnational Factors
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe, Volume II: International and Transnational Factors
Edited by Jan Zielonka and Alex Pravda
Oxford University Press, 2001, 556 pp.

These two volumes are part of a massive project attempting to judge the fit between theories of democracy and the democratic experience in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The first book focuses on theories of constitutionalism, measuring them against the outcomes of constitution-building efforts in 13 states. The second considers the impact of international factors on the transitions within these societies, from international institutions to transnational organized crime. The volumes' quality is uneven; several of the theoretical chapters are lucid and productive, others are not. But together they deliver an immense quantity of information in a form that allows for genuine comparison. Best of all, European scholars from the region have a chance to provide their views, which serve as a complement to North American scholarship.