Frank Schimmelfennig
Strategic Calculation and International Socialization: Membership Incentives, Party Constellations, and Sustained Compliance in Central and Eastern Europe

International Organization, 2005: 59, Heft 4, S. 827-860

The article uses a rationalist approach to explain the socialization of Central and Eastern Europe to liberal international human rights and democracy norms. According to this approach, socialization consists in a process of reinforcement, and its effectiveness depends on the balance between the international and domestic costs and benefits of compliance over an extended period of time. I claim that EU and NATO accession conditionality has been a necessary condition of sustained compliance in those countries of Central and Eastern Europe that violated liberal norms initially. The pathways and long-term outcomes of international socialization, however, vary with the constellations of major parties in the target states. Whereas conditionality has been effective with liberal and mixed party constellations, it has failed to produce sustained compliance in anti-liberal regimes. In the empirical part of the article, I substantiate these propositions with data on the development of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and case studies on Slovakia and Latvia.