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Gorbachev's export of Perestroika to Eastern EuropeDemocratisation reconsidered$
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Helen Hardman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079788

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079788.001.0001

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The Conference as an Institution

The Conference as an Institution

(p.31) 1 The Conference as an Institution
Gorbachev's export of Perestroika to Eastern Europe

Helen Hardman

Manchester University Press

This chapter compares the provisions regarding the conference in the Party Rules across the fraternal parties of CEE and identifies that these regulations are codified very similarly, simply to provide the Party leadership with the option to call a conference between congresses. So, in the absence of formal rules, historical and discursive institutional approaches are applied to reconstruct a blueprint for the ‘informal’ rules that governed this institution on the basis of previous conference outcome. The purpose of this approach is to understand what the conference represented to actors as a policy choice in 1988, and why it was that various contingents in the party objected to a conference and instead demanded an extraordinary congress. A rational choice approach helps explain why actors structuralised their preferences in this context, as discussed in chapters 3, 5, 6 and 7.

Keywords:   Institutionalism, Historical institutionalism, Rational Choice Institutionalism, Discursive Institutionalism, Authoritarian institutions

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