after 1989 was often simply to adapt (incrementally) to new conditions and demands using the same 'human potential' as before. Even in the relatively small towns which have been examined in the latter part of this chapter there existed a much larger pool of citizens able and willing to take on civic leadership roles, and the existence of a formal or informal opposition to the governing team has been a factor influencing the dynamics of their civic cultures ever since 1989. A greater degree of anonymity facilitated by larger communities guarantees the existence of a space for constructive opposition and the eventual alternation of local political elites. Correspondingly there is a greater distance between citizens' private and public lives, and the dissemination of new attitudes towards participation in local politics is therefore a potentially smoother process, given that it does not imply such a radical identity crisis. The problem which small town communities have to face is rather the danger of non-participation by citizens, caused by their withdrawal into private affairs or by tendencies towards feelings of powerlessness against the impersonal face of social changes.