Communism and the Emergence of Democracy
Before democracy becomes an institutionalised form of political authority, the rupture with authoritarian forms of power causes deep uncertainty about power and outcomes. This book connects the study of democratisation in eastern Europe and Russia to the emergence and crisis of communism. Wydra argues that the communist past is not simply a legacy but needs to be seen as a social organism in gestation, where critical events produce new expectations, memories and symbols that influence meanings of democracy. By examining a series of pivotal historical events, he shows that democratisation is not just a matter of institutional design, but rather a matter of consciousness and leadership under conditions of extreme and traumatic incivility. Rather than adopting the opposition between non-democratic and democratic, Wydra argues that the communist experience must be central to the study of the emergence and nature of democracy in (post-) communist countries.
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actors articulation Bolshevik Cambridge University Press central Europe characterised civilising claim Claude Lefort Cold War collapse of communism collective communist communist party communist power communist rule concept consciousness consolidation constitutional countries crisis crucial cultural Czech Czechoslovakia de-Stalinisation democratic democratisation dictatorship discourse dissidence east European eastern Europe economic elites emergence enemy Eric Voegelin established existential experiences force freedom German human Hungarian Hungary identity ideological individual institutionalised institutions leaders legitimacy Lenin liberal democracy logic London mass Max Weber memory mobilisation modern moral movement myth October Revolution one’s outcome Oxford past people’s perspective Poland Polish political authority post-communist post-war potential Prague spring proletariat regime representation representative resistance revolutionary Russian Revolution second reality Second World Second World War situation social socialist Solidarnos´c Soviet Union spiritual Stalin structures symbolic symbolisation terror theory tion totalitarian tradition transformations Transition uncertainty violence West Western York Yugoslav