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Development of post-communist parliamentarism in Kazakhstan and Romania: a comparative analysis

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Author(s): MARAL ZHANARSTANOVA | TIMUR KANAPYANOV

Journal: Cinq Continents
ISSN 2247-2290

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 198;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Parliamentarism | Kazakhstan | Romania | Post-communism | comparison

ABSTRACT
This study compares institutional development of legislative bodies in post-communist Romania and Kazakhstan. Despite having shared a communist past experience, Kazakhstan and Romania have followed a quite different path in their post-communist political order: Kazakhstan is unwillingly accepted the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and peacefully declared its independence, while Romanian Revolution of 1989 was the most bloody of all in East Central Europe. However, in spite of their geographical remoteness, different cultural and historical backgrounds, various ethnic and religious compositions, as well as different economic profiles, Romania and Kazakhstan have shared some common elements of communist legacy and its side-effects during the post-communist development of political institutions. It does not necessarily mean that their respective experiences with communist rule and transition to democracy were the same. The parliamentary development in the two countries differs from each other, both in terms of stability and the level of institutionalization. The goal of this article is twofold. First and foremost aim of the paper is to explain parliamentary development in post-communist Romania and Kazakhstan from historical point of view and to identify what contributes to changes and different outcomes in legislatures of the respective countries. Second goal is to compare two parliaments and identify similarities and differences with making some inferences about the strength of legislatures compared to each other and to other major political institutions.
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