After forty years of one-party rule under communist regimes, how were the countries of East-Central Europe to get back to the business of competitive politics in 1989? One key factor was the resumption of party politics, and this book reviews the postcommunist development of political parties in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. Toma Kostelecky describes party history up to 1947-some earlier parties were resurrected in 1989-and then covers the communist and postcommunist periods. Historical, cultural, and social factors in party development are all taken into account in this synthetic work. The core of the work studies three crucial factors: historical and cultural factors, social cleavages, and electoral rules. In general Kostelecky sees a move toward more organized political parties, greater rational choice and self-interest in voters' decisions, and better structured, stabler politics.
In other words, East-Central European politics is transforming itself from simply a reaction against the politics of the preceding regime to a situation in which diverse groups in society will find their interests institutionalized in diverse political parties, not unlike the politics of Western Europe.
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(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
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Author Biography - Tomas Kostelecky
Toma Kostelecky is senior researcher and scientific secretary, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences. He was recently a JSPS fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Sapporo, Japan. He was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1996-1997.