Cleavages, parties, and voters. Studies from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania

Author (Person)
Publication Date June 1999
ISBN 0-275-95589-3
Content Type

Book abstract:

This work examines the backgrounds and current development of political parties in post-Cold War central Europe. It looks at the pre-Communist history of political parties and examines the extent to which party politics has changed. The essays examine the peaceful revolution of the central European nations from a long period of authoritarian regimes to Western democracy. The process is ongoing, so questions arise as to whether the transition is already achieved or whether this may be the start of a long-term evolution. The possibility is there that the new political culture may yet fail and collapse to a less flexible and humanitarian polity. The essays do not attempt to give simple answers, but the book offers rich material and observations by knowledgeable political analysts in these countries.

There are three main sections to the book. Each section contains a chapter covering each country. The first collection of essays examines cleavages and parties prior to 1989, the second, cleavages and parties after 1989, and the third, how voters respond. There are numerous tables included for illustration: much material is included on results of elections and the structure of the electorates in the different countries.

The editors envisage that this book will make most impact if widely read and discussed in the countries treated within it. For those and other readers, the book will make a valuable contribution to the debate about political transition in central Europe.

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