The goal of this research project is to study the influence that the legacies
of previous non-democratic regimes have had on building new European
democracies. In particular, we will analyze the effects that the problem of
"stateness" has had on the evolution of the processes of state building and nation
building involved in the foundation and later consolidation of democracy in Europe.
The time frame under consideration refers to the democratic transitions of the
second and third wave (Huntington 1995) that spanned the European continent after
the end of Word War II. The choice of cases postulates a division of Europe into
three macro-regions that have faced democratization processes in three different
phases: Western Europe after the end of the Second World War (France, Germany,
Austria); Southern Europe in the 1970s (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece); and East
Central Europe in the 1990s (Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria,
and the states of the former Soviet Union and ex-Yugoslavia).
Even with temporal and regional differences, it is possible