The recent history of both Southern and Eastern Europe has demonstrated the key role that political parties play in the establishment of new parliamentary democracy. Political parties often form as a result of opposition to previously authoritarian regimes, and their performance during a transition period gives an excellent indication of the nature and prospects of democracy. This is the first book to provide a systematic comparison of the democratic transitions of Eastern and Southern Europe. It does so with the aid of four case studies from each region, written by regional specialists. The countries covered include Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. Within a comparative framework the authors discuss the central questions of how democratic parties and political elites form, how alliances and coalitions are built, how parties cope with their inheritance and develop new identities and how they behave during elections. Stabilising Fragile Democracies provides both an invaluable guide to recent events in Southern and Eastern Europe and a means to understanding the process of democratization.Pridham, Geoffrey is the author of 'Stabilising Fragile Democracies Comparing New Party Systems in Southern and Eastern Europe', published 1996 under ISBN 9780415118026 and ISBN 0415118026.