Subject: Communism

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July 2016, Volume 27, Issue 3

Xi Jinping’s Maoist Revival

Far from being a reformer, as some had hoped, President Xi Jinping has launched the most sweeping ideological campaign seen in China since Mao. Xi is mixing nationalism, Leninism, and Maoism in ways that he hopes will cement continued one-party Communist rule.

January 2010, Volume 21, Issue 1

Twenty Years of Postcommunism: Citizenship Restored

The 1989 revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe were the triumph of civic dignity over Leninism. The first decade of postcommunism saw the project of an open society strongly challenged by ethnocratic temptations. The most important new idea brought about by the revolutions of 1989 was the rethinking and the restoration of citizenship.

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July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: The Massacre’s Long Shadow

In the two decades since the Tiananmen massacre, China has enjoyed rapid economic growth and a measure of political stability. Recently, however, various forms of popular protest have been increasing. Do they represent a potentially serious threat to CCP rule?

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: A New Rights Consciousness?

Despite the suppression of the Tiananmen Uprising of 1989, popular protest in China has by all accounts escalated steadily over the ensuing two decades. These protests have spread to virtually every sector of Chinese society, prompting more than a few observers to proclaim the emergence of a “rising rights consciousness” that poses a protodemocratic challenge…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: The Labor Movement

The twenty years since 1989 have brought two major developments in worker activism. First, whereas workers were part of the mass uprising in the Tiananmen Movement, there is today hardly any sign of mobilization that transcends class or regional lines. Second, a long-term decline in worker power at the point of production is going on…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: Rural Protest

Although China’s farmers did not play a large role in the 1989 protests, they have been quite contentious since. Rural unrest has been triggered in part by reforms and in part by savvy “peasant leaders” who quickly seize opportunities that appear. Recently, many protest leaders have concluded that tame forms of contention are ineffective and…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: Middle-Class Mobilization

Some of the many China stories to attract attention recently have involved NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) protests by largely middle class crowds gathering to demand a greater say in urban development plans. This article argues that such protests a) are a significant addition to the already complex landscape of Chinese collective action (and signal…

July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: Online Activism

Online activism is an integral part of the broader landscape of citizen activism in contemporary China. It assumes a variety of forms, from cultural and social activism to cyber-nationalism and online petitions and protests. Technological development and social transformation provide the basic structural conditions. A fledgling civil society of online communities and offline civic associations,…

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July 2009, Volume 20, Issue 3

China Since Tiananmen: Authoritarian Impermanence

Like all contemporary nondemocratic systems, the Chinese system suffers from weak legitimacy at the level of regime type. The most likely form of transition for China remains the model of Tiananmen, when three elements came together: a robust plurality of disaffected citizens, a catalytic event, and a split in the leadership. Had China chosen the…

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April 2009, Volume 20, Issue 2

Reading Russia: The Siloviki in Charge

The holders of political power in Russia today are the siloviki (sometimes called "securocrats" by political scientists). These are the people who work for, or who used to work for, the silovye ministerstva-literally "the ministries of force"-charged with wielding coercion and violence in the name of the state. Since Vladimir Putin's rise to power at…

January 2009, Volume 20, Issue 1

Can Cuba Change? Tensions in the Regime

Although the transfer of power from Fidel to Raúl has been relatively uneventful, potential divisions within the ruling elite, especially between the military and the Party, are likely to emerge before too long.

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July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

The Real Causes of the Color Revolutions

The “color revolutions” in the postcommunist countries cannot be attributed to diffusion alone. Structural factors offer a better explanation of why such revolutions have succeeded in some countries and not in others.

July 2008, Volume 19, Issue 3

A New Look at Ethnicity and Democratization

Conventional scholarly wisdom holds that ethnic diversity within a given society generally dims democracy’s prospects. Careful reflection on the experience of many post-Soviet states, however, suggests that this need not be so.

January 2008, Volume 19, Issue 1

Taming Extremist Parties: Lessons from Europe

The history of twentieth-century European communist parties shows that extremists can be moderated by robust democratic institutions. Without them, however, the inclusion of extremist parties may undermine democracy.

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July 2007, Volume 18, Issue 3

How Will China Democratize?

No one should underrate the will and skill that the ruling Chinese Communist Party will put into keeping its grip on power.

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July 2005, Volume 16, Issue 3

Transitions from Postcommunism

The years since 2000 have seen a surprising new wave of democratic breakthroughs in postcommunist lands as varied as Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Can we identify any factors common to each case?

April 2005, Volume 16, Issue 2

The End of Postcommunism in Romania

The 2004 elections saw the defeat of the former communists who ruled Romania for most of the period since the fall of communism. Will the country's new, democratic, and pro-European government be able to break with the semi-authoritarian habits of its postcommunist predecessors?

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Pluralism by Default in Moldova

During the 1990s, politics in the small post-Soviet state of Moldova was more competitive than anyone would have expected. Yet there was less to this surprising pluralism than met the eye.

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Dark Days in Belarus

Why did Belarusians return dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka to power in September 2001? Could a better-managed opposition campaign have made a difference?

October 2002, Volume 13, Issue 4

Post-Election Blues in Ukraine

In March 2002, three-fifths of Ukraine’s voters chose a party or coalition opposed to the overbearing presidential apparatus of Leonid Kuchma, but the antipresidential forces found themselves frozen out in the new parliament.

April 2002, Volume 13, Issue 2

Bulgaria’s Royal Elections

Last year, Bulgarians elected their newly returned former king as prime minister and then, in a shocking upset,ousted their incumbent president. What do these results portend for the future of Bulgarian democracy?

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

Slovenia’s Smooth Transition

The story of this small former Yugoslav republic offers an example of how-if circumstances are right-it may be possible for a country to reform its way out of communism and into parliamentary democracy and a market economy.

January 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1

The Weakness of Postcommunist Civil Society

Recent studies suggest that civil society in the postcommunist countries is significantly weaker than in other types of democracies, old or new. Can this legacy of communism be overcome? If not, what are the implications for democracy?

July 2001, Volume 12, Issue 3

History and Memory: The Revolutions of 1989-91

There has been surprisingly little celebration of the tenth anniversary of the revolutions that brought down communism. The exaggerated hopes of the time have given way to disillusionment, but the real achievements of many of the postcommunist countries should not be discounted.

July 2001, Volume 12, Issue 3

Serbia’s Prudent Revolution

A bloodless revolution toppled the corruption-ridden 13-year-old regime of Slobodan Milosevic and brought to power a team led by committed democrats. Although strains exist within the new 18-party ruling coalition, there are strong reasons for it to hold together during the current period of transition.

July 2000, Volume 11, Issue 3

Markets, Law, and Democracy

The experience of “bandit capitalism” or “tyrant capitalism” in postcommunist societies shows that markets cannot work properly without a community of trust and mutual respect. Such a community can be achieved only where there is a rule of law, applied by able and independent judges.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Chile’s Elections: The New Face of the Right

The unexpectedly strong showing of media-savvy rightist candidate Joaquín Lavín in the 1999 presidential elections and the move to the center by Concertación candidate Ricardo Lagos suggest that Chile has begun to put the ghosts of Allende and Pinochet to rest.

April 2000, Volume 11, Issue 2

Eastern Europe: The International Context

Nowhere else has the impact of international factors on democratization been as apparent as in Central and Eastern Europe. Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures is one particularly strong democratizing force.