Parties and Party Systems in Eastern Europe
There have been three waves of democratisation in Eastern Europe. The first wave occurred after the end of the First World War, when Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria were all reconstituted as independent states and embarked on the road to democracy. But after only a few years, the wave of democratisation ebbed. As early as 1923, the Bulgarian radical peasant leader Stamboliski was overthrown in a coup by reactionary nationalist forces. In 1926, Marshal Pilsudski carried out his military coup in Poland. Gradually Hungary and Romania slid back onto the road of authoritarianism. Only Czechoslovakia managed to sustain its democracy, until the country was dismembered in 1938 (Fischer-Galati, 1992).
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