This major study examines one of the most surprising developments in East Central European politics after the democratic transitions of 1989: the completely unexpected regeneration of the former communist parties. After the collapse of the communist regimes in 1989, these ruling communist parties seemed consigned to oblivion. However, confounding scholarly and popular expectations, all of the parties survived, with some even returning to power.
1. The roots of regeneration: communist practices and elite resources; 2. Breaking with the past, reorganizing for the future; 3. Developing programmatic responsiveness; 4. Convincing the voters: campaigns and elections; 5. Parliamentary effectiveness and coalitions; Conclusions: succeeding in democracy.
"This impressive case study examines the remarkable political transformation of the former ruling parties in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.... The book is a model of diligent research and intellectual clarity and would be excellent for courses on East central Europe or comparative transitions. It is also a book Russian communists should read to understand where they went wrong." Choice
"Anna Grzymala-Busse tackles some of the most important theoretical debates in the fields of democratic transition and party development...This is an impressive investigative menu, rendered even more so by a rich analytical execution that culminates in a provocative study...Grzymala-Busse weaves effortlessly between big theoretical issues and empirical case studies." Perspectives on Politics