From the Politics of State-building to Programmatic Politics: The Post-Federal Experience and the Development of Centre-Right Party Politics in Croatia and Slovakia

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The post-federal experience was important in shaping the structure of party competition in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, particularly on the centre-right. The cases of Slovakia and Croatia demonstrate not only how and why appeals relating to national autonomy/statehood became salient in some states in the region, but also why dominant parties stressing such themes were unable to lock in their support. Strategic crafting, particularly in the absence of consensus over continuation of the federation, appears key in explaining the rise of dominant parties in the two cases. Nonetheless, where appeals to the nation were combined with illiberalism and were received unfavourably by strategically important international clubs, public support for such parties declined. Following removal from power, these dominant parties undertook bouts of reinvention, attempting to rebrand themselves as mainstream European centre-right parties with mixed results.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-454
Number of pages20
JournalParty Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Slovakia, post-federal, dominant parties, Croatia, centre-right