Publications of R. Schweickert

Melnykovska I, Schweickert R. Analyzing Bottlenecks for Institutional Development in Central Asia – Is it Oil, Aid, or Geography?. In: Institutional Reform in Central Asia: Politico-economic challenges. Abindon, Oxon, New York: Routledge; 2013. p. 188-212.

Do Russia and China Promote Autocracy in Central Asia?

The purpose of our paper is to contribute to the literature on autocracy promotion by analyzing Central Asia as the most-likely case, considering both Russia and China as relevant external actors. We develop a concept for our analysis based on the different strategies of Russia and China towards the region and present the results of a qualitative study of the main dimensions of autocracy promotion (regional organizations, economic cooperation, and interference and threat). Based on this qualitative study, we define variables measuring the potential for autocracy promotion and test our hypotheses using panel data for 24 post-communist countries. The somewhat surprising result of our analysis is that, in contrast to Russia's dominance mode of operation, China's doing-business approach towards its neighbors in Central Asia may have—although unintentionally—even positive effects in terms of improving governance and undermining autocratic structures.

Picking Winners? Evidence on NATO’s Enlargement Strategy

The effectiveness of NATO conditionality for institutional reforms is highly controversial. Some papers argue that any effect this conditionality might have had may be due to endogeneity effects, i.e. NATO may have picked the winners. We argue that this is not the case. First, NATO-Mazedonia relations provide a case in point. Macedonia was granted entry into the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 1999 due to country’s strategic importance. Only after the Ohrid agreement, effective conditionality set in and marked a switch in NATO strategy from security only towards institution building. Second, this is supported by econometric evidence based on panel data. An event study reveals that entry into NATO’s accession process was mainly driven by neighbourhood and good relations with the West. We conclude that empirical evidence clearly supports a stronger role of NATO’s political agenda, i.e., low entry barriers but strict accession conditionality.

Melnykovska I, Schweickert R. Institutional Convergence of the CIS towards European Benchmarks. In: Dabrowski M, Maliszewska M, editors. EU Eastern Neighborhood – Economic Potential and Future Development. Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London, New York: Springer; 2011. p. 123-43.

Prospective NATO or EU Membership and Institutional Change in Transition Countries

This article quantifies the impact of incentives related to potential membership on institutional change as measured by the World Bank Governance Indicators. Based on a panel of 25 transition countries for the period from 1996 to 2008, we show that pre‐accession incentives provided by EU and NATO clearly matter for institutional development. In addition, path‐dependency determined by cultural norms may be overcome by economic liberalization, while foreign aid hampers institutional development.

NATO as an External Driver of Institutional Change in Post-Communist Countries

So far, economic analyses of NATO enlargement have been restricted to aspects of regional security while political analyses focused on indirect peace‐building effects on democracy in the first place. Our panel regressions for 25 post‐communist countries for the period from 1996 to 2008 reveal that direct incentives provided by NATO pre‐accession are important for broad‐based institutional development. Results are even more robust than for variables measuring EU pre‐accession or NATO membership effects. This supports the argument that NATO can act as a transformative power and should strengthen its political agenda.

Neighbourhood Europeanisation through ENP – the Case of Ukraine

This article contributes to the integration of Neighbourhood Europeanization in the literature on Europeanization. Based on insights from Membership and Enlargement Europeanization, we reveal important inconsistencies of Neighbourhood Europeanization through ENP as well as a lack of robust empirical support for its effectiveness. We define core dimensions and determinants of Neighbourhood Europeanization and implement this analytical framework for the case of Ukraine. The analysis clearly demonstrates substantial asymmetries in ENP policy across the three dimensions we chose – democracy promotion, economic co‐operation and JHA, which clearly reflect the inconsistency of the ENP concept: top‐down formulation of EU interests combined with weak conditionality. ENP inconsistencies could however be overcome through widening linkages and improving financial support to mobilize and strengthen positive local support of EU demands and rewards.

Motor of Europeanisation. NATO and Ukraine

NATO is to this day first and foremost a defensive alliance. But beyond classic notions of security policy, it has another potential. Unlike the European Union, it keeps the door open for new members from Eastern Europe and the southern Caucasus. Therefore, for states such as Ukraine, the incentive is greater to meet NATO's requirements. The alliance contributes to the establishment of democratic processes by making civilian control over the military a precondition to accession. And it promotes - starting with the arms sector - a market economy. This has also been the case in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution.

Bottom-Up or Top-Down – What Drives the Convergence of Ukraine's Institutions towards European Standards?

This paper argues that in the absence of a strong membership incentive within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), a top‐down institutional convergence of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries towards European standards is unlikely to be successful. However, due to enlargement fatigue within the EU, the membership incentive is off the agenda for the CIS. The ENP must therefore either initiate or hasten a bottom‐up institutional convergence by identifying bottom‐up domestic forces that are willing and able to drive the convergence in a particular country. Ukraine, whose oligarchic clans are the main bottom‐up forces behind institution‐building, is a case in point. Having supported the first wave of institutional reforms during the Orange Revolution, these bottom‐up forces are now facing great difficulties in forming sustainable coalitions for further institutional reforms. The paper shows that the EU, by providing economic incentives rather than the membership incentive, could exploit the strong business interests of the oligarchic clans in the EU markets and EU investment to motivate them to jointly drive institutional convergence from the bottom up.