Communist Successor Party Adaptation in Candidate-Centered Systems: the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and the Czech Social Democratic Party in the Czech Republic

  •  Tatiana P. Rizova    


I compare the adaptation strategies of the Czech ex-communists to competitive elections upon the implosion of East European communism in 1989. In order to survive in a competitive electoral environment, parties that symbolize the communist legacy ought to refashion their internal organization and party programs; their leaders have to signal to their target electorate that they will jettison their predecessors’ dictatorial practices and embrace democratic instruments. The direction and magnitude of these organizational and programmatic changes are dictated by the electoral goals of these parties’ leadership and are shaped by important features of the electoral institutions such as ballot structure.

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