The post-communist political transition of Montenegro: Democratization prior to Europeanization
Abstract: This paper examines the process of post-communist political transition of Montenegro from the 1989 introduction of multipartism to the 2006 referendum on its independence. Similar to Central/Eastern European (CEE) states, Montenegro has, at certain point, recognized membership in the European Union as the top political priority. However, while the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and other CEE countries had an ‘open way’ toward the EU subsequent to the collapse of communism, Montenegro — for more than a decade being a part of the internationally isolated federation with Serbia — has gone a long and difficult path. Owing to its divergent transition course, the extent to which EU leverage has affected the democratization of Montenegro substantially differs from that in Central/Eastern European states. In other words, whereas democratic transition of these countries went hand in hand with their European integration, democratization of Montenegro preceded its Europeanization.
Keywords: Post-Communist Transition, Democratization, Europeanization, Montenegro, Central/Eastern Europe