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Subcultural Party' to Neo-Communist Force? The Communist Party of Bohemia And Moravia And The Czech Left After 1989

Hanley, S; (2002) Subcultural Party' to Neo-Communist Force? The Communist Party of Bohemia And Moravia And The Czech Left After 1989. In: Bozóki, A and Ishiyama, JT, (eds.) The Communist Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe. (pp. 141-165). M E Sharpe: Armonk, NY.

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Abstract

The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) in the Czech Republic is nevertheless a relatively isolated exception within East Central Europe. Uniquely among major successor parties transforming KSCM sought to maintain and renew a communist identity. In the mid-1990s, this unusual choice seemed to have allowed the ‘historic’ Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) to emerge as the principal party of the democratic left. However, in 1998-9, against a background of economic stagnation and growing public disenchantment with ineffective minority governments, KSCM experienced a rapid increase in popularity, suggesting that its ‘neo-communist’ strategy was paying unexpected political dividends. This chapter tracing KSCM’s development argues that this view is an oversimplification and that that the ‘neo-communist’ strategy embraced by KSCM since 1993 is a more sophisticated attempt to re-invent the party than simple revanchism, conservatism or nostalgia which includes innovative and democratic elements. It goes on to argue that KSCM’s development into such a party was a contingent, if predictable, outcome of internal political struggles over the party’s adaptation to competitive electoral politics, and an outcome strongly influenced by the specific traditions and history of Czech communism. It suggests that throughout most of the first post-communist decade can be usefully understood as a neo-communist ‘subcultural party’ whose strategy was driven by a ‘logic of constituency representation’ rather than a ‘logic of electoral competition’.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Subcultural Party' to Neo-Communist Force? The Communist Party of Bohemia And Moravia And The Czech Left After 1989
ISBN: 076560986X
Publisher version: http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/resultsa.asp?Title=Th...
Keywords: Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, communist successor parties, communism
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15079
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