The Slovak Party of the Democratic Left: A Successful Post-Communist Party?

By Kopecek, Lubomir | German Policy Studies, April 2002 | Go to article overview

The Slovak Party of the Democratic Left: A Successful Post-Communist Party?


Kopecek, Lubomir, German Policy Studies


Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of the Slovak Party of the Democratic Left (PDL). It analyzes the PDL from its evolution from the Communist Party of Slovakia to its recent internal crisis. It deals also with the PDL's identity conflict between two party wings in the second half of the 90's--the "radical socialists" and the "modernists"--which ended with the victory of the "radical socialists." In conclusion, the paper argues that the PDL today represents an interesting case of a communist successor party whose ideology lies somewhere between its communist origins and modern social democracy. In short, the PDL can be termed a post-communist "radical socialist" party.

**********

The Party of the Democratic Left (Strana demokratickej lavice) experienced extensive transformation from its original communist structure in the 90's and eventually came to be considered--in contrast to the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM)--a "social-democratised" ex-communist party. Thus, it bears similarities to post-communist parties in Poland (Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland) and Hungary (the Hungarian Socialist Party). At the same time, and in contrast to these parties, the PDL has never enjoyed broad popular support (its maximum share of the vote, 14.7%, was reached in 1992 and 1998) and has suffered as well from serious inner conflicts which have resulted in a moving away from social democratic positions. This article focuses on the reasons for the PDL's particular evolution, tracing the internal development of the PDL in the 1990's as well as the party's ideological development, organizational structures, and concrete policies.

The Genesis of the CPS and its Relationship to the CPC

It is not possible to understand the different development of the Czech and Slovak post-communist parties without first outlining their origin within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPS). By 1989, the predecessor of the PDL--the Communist Party of Slovakia (CPS)--was a branch of the CPS. In the days of the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918--1938) the Slovak communists represented only one of the CPS's regional organizations. During the Slovak war-state the Slovak regional organization was transformed (under underground conditions) into a separate party--The Communist Party of Slovakia (CPS). During a short semi-democratic period immediately after the end of the war (1945-1948) the CPS became formally independent, although its political line was coincident with the politics of the CPS. This organizational independence was lost in 1948 when CPS leaders came to the conclusion, after the establishment of the communist regime, that a continuation of the CPS's independent existence was pointless. Thus, the party was again transformed into the CPS regional organization, with the name CPS staying. This produced more or less hidden frustration among the Slovak communists. Nevertheless this situation lasted until 1989. The CPS still worked without legal status during the first months after 1989 and in 1990. During the first parliamentary election, it stood in the election as a part of the CPC. Yet the CPS's pursuit of independence was manifested not only in its political programme (whose title, the "Election programme of the CPS as an independent part of the CPC", emphasized the CPS's organizational independence) but also by its next election document "Who we are and where are we going". In this document the party argued that the CPC should undergo structural change so as to allow the Czech and Slovak communists to behave as separate political forces. During the CPC congress in November 1990, it was decided to create a new federal party consisting of a Slovak organization (CPS) and a Czech organization (CPMB). After the congress, relations between the CPS and CPMB became even less close, since the two parties were moving in very different ideological directions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Slovak Party of the Democratic Left: A Successful Post-Communist Party?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.