The Government and Politics of Postcommunist Europe

The Government and Politics of Postcommunist Europe

The Government and Politics of Postcommunist Europe

The Government and Politics of Postcommunist Europe

Synopsis

This timely book surveys political change in postcommunist Europe. It begins with a brief overview of the history and the communist legacy of each country, then examines the new constitutional framework, the principal political parties and their orientations, the direction and scope of economic reform, and the foreign and security policies.

Excerpt

The idea of writing this book developed during my last six years of teaching an Eastern and Central European Politics course at Rhodes College. As the events of the post-1989 transformation in the former Soviet bloc accelerated, I was confronted with the dearth of up-to-date teaching material comprehensive enough to meet the course needs of an upper-level undergraduate international studies curriculum. Few of the studies now available on the market venture beyond the familiar retelling of the post-World War II communist takeovers in the region, their failure to transform the societies in light of powerful domestic resistance, and finally the spectacular collapse of communism throughout the Soviet bloc.

Although the process of change is still very fluid, sufficient time has passed to review the direction of political reform in the postcommunist states. This book charts the changes in postcommunist Europe. It offers an overview of the history and the communist legacy of each country while focusing on the new constitutional framework (where available), the principal political parties, and the economic, foreign, and security policies. Former Yugoslavia is treated differently because the ongoing war makes a systematic review impossible.

This book surveys political change in postcommunist Europe along the western periphery of the former Soviet empire. It covers four distinct regions: (1) East Central Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary), (2) the Balkans (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, "Third Yugoslavia," Macedonia, and Albania), (3) the Baltic Rim (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia), and (4) Eastern Europe (Belarus and Ukraine). This nomenclature departs from the political concept of Eastern Europe used during the half-century of Soviet . . .

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