Innes, Party Competition in Postcommunist Europe: The Great Electoral
political constraints created by dismantling central planning and more
recently by fulfilling membership criteria for the European Union present
eastern European politicians with an unprecedented lack of public policy
options in critical areas of government, such as the economy. East
European political parties have thus had little choice but to compete over
operating styles rather than substantive programmatic alternatives.
Continued party system instability in eastern Europe is a direct
consequence of this type of party competition. Parties have had, in
effect, to satisfy two constituencies, one informal and the other
external, with the very existence of the latter inhibiting the development
of the former.
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