The transition of countries from an autocratic to a democratic regime is a complex process characterized by big political, social and economic changes. This process is usually accompanied by an increase in violent crime rates which has been investigated by a large number of studies in the last decades. A special role in this analysis is played by the studies on the former communist countries, especially the ones that stress the relationship between postcommunist regimes and the exponential rise of violent crime rates experienced in their transition. The majority of these studies have tried to explain the violent crime booms, but no research empirically tested if violent crime is willing to decrease as democracies consolidated. According to one of the most recent studies by Alvazzi del Frate and Mugellini, the Western Balkan region and a large number of “Non-Western” countries have recently experienced a drop in their homicide rates which has not been empirically analysed yet. This article aims at fulfilling this lack of knowledge by empirically analyzing eight countries of the Balkan region, Bulgaria and Romania. Themain hypothesis is that, in terms of reduction of violent crime, there is a benefit in shifting from a transitional to a more democratic regime in post-communist countries. Data on Polity score and homicide rate from1995 to 2011 were collected to conduct a fixed effect panel data analysis on the level of democracy and violent crime in the Balkan region, Bulgaria and Romania confirming a negative association between the two variables.
Favarin, S., Democratization Processes and Homicide Rates in the Balkan Region, Bulgaria and Romania, <<EUROPEAN JOURNAL ON CRIMINAL POLICY AND RESEARCH>>, 2014; 20 (2): 171-189. [doi:10.1007/s10610-013-9227-1] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/56148]