chapter  12
11 Pages

Democratization in the East and the South?

ByAlain Touraine

Many observers have lamented the mediocrity of political life in the postcommunist countries of central Europe. In both Poland and Hungary, despite the pressures that have been brought to bear, primarily by the Catholic church, democratization has been the decisive factor in the reconstruction of a society that had been destroyed twice: first by the communist regime, and then by its fall. When modernization is not endogenous—as is the case in Latin America, where for better or worse it obviously came from outside—democracy is restricted by the partial fusion of state, political society, and social actors. In most Latin American countries there is no consciousness of citizenship. Latin America is very similar to postcommunist Europe. The postcommunist countries in particular are still so busy destroying the communist system, which refuses to die in many of the republics which have emerged from the Soviet Union, that it is impossible to describe them all as having created new democracies.