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Trajectories of the Left

Trajectories of the Left

Lubomír Kopeček (ed.)

Trajectories of the Left

Social Democratic and (Ex-)Communist Parties in Contemporary Europe: Between Past and Future

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The political Left in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century finds itself in a curious and in many ways historically unique condition. Its roots are connected with the end of the decades-long division of Europe into the East and the West in 1989. This has initiated the process of transformation of communist parties to the east of the River Elbe. As part of adaptation to new conditions, some of these parties formally gave up their original names, accepted democratic political competition as the basic means of the power struggle, and abandoned their Marxist-Leninist identities. In the attempt to strengthen their local and international legitimacy, these ex-communist formations usually became socially democratic. Not all former monopolistic communist formations decided to change their identities and ideologies so radically after 1989. They often remained more or less tied to their communist traditions. This results in the Central and Eastern Europe providing a very varied picture of the political Left.
However, it was not only the Left of the Central and Eastern Europe that went through a dynamic development at the end of the 20th century. Social-economic and political changes have lead to the erosion of electoral support of most Western European communist parties already since the 1950s. During next decades some communist parties got rid of a larger or smaller part of their original identities, and accepted new ideological programme elements. The problems and changes in the last decades of the 20th century affected also Western European social democrats. Many social democratic parties are in serious crises today.
The aim of the articles contained in this book is to explain the current state of the social democratic and communist Left across Europe, and its causes. The presented cases of parties demonstrate some of the above-mentioned trends in the development of the Left in Europe, and show the problems and challenges faced by the Left today.

Book Series by the Institute for Comparative Political Research
of the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University

Informace o knize

Ediční řada: Srovnávací politologie (ISPO)
Číslo publikace: 198
Vydání: 1.
Formát: , brožovaná vazba, 180 stran
ISBN: 80-7325-078-0
Rok vydání: 2005
Dostupnost: na skladě