The impact of constitutions on democratization : cases of Hungary and Bulgaria
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This study seeks to analyze the correlation between constitutions and democratization by comparing the cases of Hungary and Bulgaria. It suggests that the democratic credentials of constitutions are dependent to the constitution–making factors and processes, constitutional design as well as the implementation process. Both countries under study have adopted new constitutions to cope with the process of democratization. The new constitutions became a crucial asset to democratization to the extent they were indispensable in structuring the new governments and spelling out a catalogue of basic rights. They imparted the political systems with the fundamental characteristics of the democratic regimes, but lack of respect for the rule of law among the governing elites puts into question the whole project of democratization. Thus, constitutions can induce institutional incentives that smooth the process of democratization, but they by themselves can not produce a workable democracy. Democratization is a multifaceted project, which extends beyond the constitutional impact. Respect for the rule of law seems to be the missing chain and the future challenge of democratization.