Communism’s Many Legacies in East-Central Europe

Issue Date July 2007
Volume 18
Issue 3
Page Numbers 156-170
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By focusing on the informal legacies that still shape the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, we can attain a nuanced understanding of the region’s postcommunist countries. In Poland, confrontational maximalism helps to generate governmental instability and poor policy continuity, while in Hungary there is now a question mark hanging over the future of the bounded flexibility that once reliably helped to center democratic politics. In the Czech Republic, instrumentalist attitudes and partisan-ideological differentiation jointly increase the chances of serious corruption and polarization, while in Slovakia the democratic system appears to lack an endogenous force capable of effectively confronting bigotry and discrimination.