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Book

Edited by Paul Wetherly

Political Ideologies provides a broad-ranging introduction to both classical and contemporary political ideologies. Adopting a global outlook, it introduces readers to ideologies' increasingly global reach and the different national versions of these ideologies. Importantly, ideologies are presented as frameworks of interpretation and political commitment, encouraging readers to evaluate how ideologies work in practice, the problematic links between ideas and political action, and the impact of ideologies. Regular learning features encourage readers to think critically about ideologies, and view them as competing and contestable ways of interpreting the world. A unique ‘stop and think’ feature calls for readers to reflect on their own ideological beliefs. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, socialism and communism, anarchism, nationalism, fascism and the radical right, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, religion and fundamentalism.

Chapter

Christian W. Haerpfer and Kseniya Kizilova

This chapter examines the democratic revolutions that occurred in post-Soviet Eurasia since 1989. It first considers the beginning of the decline of communism and the failed attempts to reform communist one-party states from 1970 to 1988 as stage one of democratization. It then discusses the end of communist regimes as the second stage of democratization—between 1989 and 1991. It also looks at stage three of the democratization process, which focuses on the creation of new democracies. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the main drivers of successful democratization in post-Soviet Eurasia.

Chapter

Christian W. Haerpfer and Kseniya Kizilova

This chapter examines the democratic revolutions that occurred in post-communist Europe since 1989. It first considers the beginning of the decline of communism and the failed attempts to reform communist one-party states from 1970 to 1988 as stage one of democratization. It then discusses the end of communist regimes as the second stage of democratization—between 1989 and 1991. It also looks at stage three of the democratization process, which focuses on the creation of new democracies. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the main drivers of successful democratization in post-communist Europe.

Chapter

John Gregson

This chapter examines the basic features of socialism and communism. Socialism is a complex ideology with numerous variants that are often strongly opposed to each other on one or more central questions or issues. Variants of socialism have converged with other classical ideologies (such as liberalism) in their beliefs and values, yet other variants have remained vehemently opposed to much within liberalism. The chapter first provides a brief historical background on socialism before discussing the key beliefs, values, and assumptions of socialism. In particular, it looks at socialism's critique of industrial capitalism and its vision of the good society, along with its its conception of human nature, community, and freedom. The chapter proceeds by considering some variants of socialism, especially communism and social democracy, as well as the overlap between socialism and other ideologies like liberalism. Finally, it assesses the historical, contemporary, and future impact of socialism.

Chapter

Erik Tillman

This chapter examines theories and evidence of voting behaviour in Europe. Sociological models examine the role of political cleavages such as class in the development of long-term attachments between parties and voters. Rationalist models examine the sources of short-term changes in voting behaviour with spatial models focusing on the ideological congruence between parties and voters and performance voting models emphasizing evaluations of incumbent records in office. Recent decades have seen debates about a possible realignment of voter loyalties or a dealignment of voter attachments. The final section focuses on how the legacy of communism has structured the development of voting behaviour in East-Central Europe.

Chapter

This chapter examines Marxism as a normative political theory. It begins with a discussion of two strands of contemporary analytic Marxism’s critique of, and alternative to, liberal theories of justice. One strand rejects the very idea of justice. According to Marxists, justice seeks to mediate conflicts between individuals, whereas communism overcomes those conflicts, and hence overcomes the need for justice. The second strand shares liberalism’s emphasis on justice, but rejects the liberal belief that justice is compatible with private ownership of the means of production. Within this second strand, there is a division between those who criticize private property on the grounds of exploitation, and those who criticize it on the grounds of alienation. The chapter also explores non-Marxist conceptions of social democracy and social justice before concluding with an overview of the politics of Marxism.

Chapter

Lawrence Wilde

This chapter examines Karl Marx's work prior to 1846, with particular emphasis on his concept of alienation. Although Marx borrows heavily from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and from Ludwig Feuerbach, his background in the philosophy and culture of ancient Greece is an important factor in his early essentialism. The early Marx rejects Hegel's theory that the state represents an ethical community. For Marx, communism is the movement of the exploited workers struggling to free themselves, and, in the process, liberate the whole of humanity so that they can freely develop their human essence of social creativity. After providing a short biography of Marx, this chapter considers his arguments about human essence and its alienation as well as his critique of the modern state. It concludes with an analysis of Marx's communist alternative.

Chapter

This chapter examines the rise and evolution of the liberal order that was created by the United States and and other liberal democratic states in the decades after World War II, along with the modern challenges to it. The liberal order that emerged after World War II paved the way for a rapid expansion in world trade, the successful integration of former enemies such as Japan and Germany, and the transition to liberal democracy in formerly authoritarian states. Furthermore, the collapse of communism was considered a triumph of liberalism. The chapter first explains how the American liberal order was constructed after World War II before discussing the successes of that order and the end of the ‘socialist’ project in the 1980s. It also analyzes some of the major threats to this liberal order today, particularly those from within, as a result of Donald Trump’s rejection of the American liberal tradition.

Chapter

This chapter examines important developments in Europe and the former Soviet Union. The collapse of communism paved the way for the greatest changes in Europe since 1919, with the political disintegration of three Eurasian countries: the then USSR, with localized outbreaks of violence; Yugoslavia, with several years of bloody civil war; and Czechoslovakia, where the Czechs and Slovaks peacefully agreed to go their own way as of January 1993, in the so-called ‘velvet divorce’. Communism’s demise also brought reunification to a divided nation: Germany. The chapter first considers the German reunification, before discussing the break-up of the USSR and the Wars of Succession, Yugoslavia’s break-up and the Bosnian War, NATO and European security, and the emergence of the European Union, which replaced the European Community.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on US involvement in the Vietnam War. Lyndon B. Johnson inherited the Vietnam conflict in difficult circumstances. He had not been elected president in his own right and so, perhaps, believed that he should carry on with John F. Kennedy’s policies. It was unclear what exactly Kennedy would have done in Vietnam, but Johnson retained his predecessor’s foreign policy team and did not question the basic principle of America’s foreign policy, which called for communism to be resisted. The chapter first considers the escalation of US involvement in Vietnam during the period 1963–5 before discussing the conflict between the US and North Vietnam in the succeeding years, along with the Tet offensive and its implications. It concludes with an assessment of Richard Nixon’s decision to restart large-scale US bombing of North Vietnam.

Chapter

This chapter examines the decline of the Cold War during the period 1985–9. It begins with a discussion of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s ‘new diplomacy’, a more flexible, less ideological foreign policy based on his belief that ‘a less confrontational stance towards the outside world would provide greater security than endless rearming’. It then considers Gorbachev’s reforms, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in December 1987 by Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and US–Soviet relations under George H. W. Bush and Gorbachev. It also analyses the end of the Cold War in less developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia, before concluding with an assessment of the demise of Soviet communism in Eastern Europe.