Creating Parliamentary Government

The Transition to Democracy in Bulgaria

Albert P. Melone

Creating Parliamentary Government is an in-depth account of events in Bulgaria since the November 1989 bloodless coup that brought down the strongman dictatorship of Todor Zhivkov. Albert P. Melone shows that Bulgaria is a striking example of a state that is successful in creating and maintaining democratic institutions without fulfilling the so-called preconditions: a strong economy, a middle class, a competitive party system, and a civic culture. In the case of Bulgaria, the people were able to break their tragic historical cycle of violence when the principal elites decided that it was in their mutual interest to set the wheels in motion to bring about the transformation of the society.

The heart of this book is Melone’s lively interviews with many key players in Bulgaria’s historic transition to democracy. Prime ministers, the head of the secret police, parliamentarians, jurists, and intellectuals—all founders of the new democratic regime—provide firsthand accounts about what it takes to create a parliamentary democracy from the scrap heap of a discredited Communist dictatorship. The book also focuses on the difficulties of democratic consolidation when there is a struggle for power among competing institutions with a bipolar party structure.

Albert P. Melone is a professor of political science at Southern Illinois University. He is the author of seven other titles including Researching Constitutional Law.

Jul 1998
Political Science/Bulgaria
350 pp. 6 x 9   22 photographs

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Parliaments and Legislatures

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