From Party-state to Political Market-place in Eastern Europe: the Collapse of the Power Monopoly
An entire postwar generation has grown up with a notion of a Europe divided into an East and a West, with the Berlin Wall serving since 1961 as a graphic symbol of the division. That notion of Eastern Europe, born in the crisis of the onset of the cold war in 1947–8, came to an end in 1989 with the fall of the regimes in the region that had been maintained for almost half a century by a guarantee of Soviet support. With them fell a particular configuration of state power, economic and political. That structure of power, together with the thinking that provided its ideological underpinnings, has frequently been called monopolistic. In this chapter the appropriateness of that metaphor will be demonstrated by a brief examination of the roots of the political system that the Eastern European states have shared for the past fifty years, and by a more detailed account of its demise or, in some cases, fundamental transformation.
KeywordsCommunist Party Power Monopoly Green Party Party Formation Evangelical Church
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