World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000023346
Reproduction Date:

Title: Post-communism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Democratic Party of the Left, Colonization, Communism, Ex-communist, New Europe (political expression)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Post-communism is the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia, in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies.


The policies of most communist parties in both Eastern and Western Europe had been governed by the example of the Soviet Union. In most of the countries in Eastern Europe, following the fall of communist-led governments in 1989, the communist parties split in two factions: a reformist Social Democratic party and a new, less reform-oriented Communist Party. The newly created Social Democratic parties were generally larger and more powerful than the remaining communist parties; only in Russia, Moldova, and the Czech Republic did the Communist Party remain a significant force.

The ex-communist social democrats gained increasing popularity when the transition to capitalism began to cause economic problems such as poverty and unemployment. Nearly all of them won national elections in their respective countries at least once in the past 15 years.

In western Europe, many of the self-styled communist political parties reacted by changing their policies to a more moderate and less radical course. In countries such as Italy and Germany, post-communism is marked by the increased influence of their existing Social Democrats. The anti-Soviet communist parties in western Europe (e.g., the Trotskyist parties), who felt that the fall of the Soviet Union vindicated their views and predictions, did not particularly prosper from it—in fact, some became less radical as well.


Several communist states had undergone economic reforms from a planned economy towards a more market-oriented economy in the 1980s. The post-communist economic transition was much more abrupt and aimed at creating fully capitalist economies.

All the countries concerned have abandoned the traditional tools of communist economic control, and moved more or less successfully toward free market systems.[1] Although some (including Lewis) stress the beneficial effect of multinational investment, the reforms had important negative consequences that are still unfolding.

Average standards of living registered a catastrophic fall in the early 1990s in many parts of the former Comecon—most notably in the former Soviet Union—and began to rise again only toward the end of the decade. Some populations are still poorer today than they were in 1989 (e.g., Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia). Others have bounced back considerably beyond that threshold however (e.g., Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic), and some, such as Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, underwent an economic boom (see Baltic Tiger), although all have suffered from the 2009 recession.

Today, most post-communist countries in Europe are generally seen to have mixed economies, although it is often argued that some (such as Romania, Slovakia and Estonia, with their flat tax rates) are actually more capitalist than Western Europe.

Economic trends associated with post-communism include [2]

See also


  1. ^ A summary of the process, containing both economic analysis and anecdotal case studies, can be found in Charles Paul Lewis's How the East Was Won (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  2. ^ Tilcsik, A. (2010). "From ritual to reality: Demography, ideology, and decoupling in a post-communist government agency." Academy of Management Journal, 53(6), 1474-1498. Abstract

External links

  • Parties and Elections in Europe
  • Dangerous Assumptions in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Daniel Nelson, July/August 2000.
  • Transitions Online: News coverage of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union
  • Communism: A Love Affair?: Russians Nostalgic for Soviet Social Services by The Global Post
  • Gerald M. Easter, )Cornell University Press, 2012Capital, Coercion, and Post-Communist States,( ISBN 978-0801-4782-46
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.