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.

About the Author

Anna Seleny is professor of the practice of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. She has taught previously at Princeton and is author of The Political Economy of State-Society Relations in Hungary and Poland: From Communism to the European Union (2006).

View all work by Anna Seleny