Publication details

Deeply rooted or smartly managed? Transformations of the Czech Communist Party



Year of publication 2013
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The Czech Communist Party is one of few political parties in Central Europe which has survived all political turmoil of the 20th century and still, under the same name, enjoys steady popular support and the position of a parliamentary party in the 21st century. However, the geography of its electoral support has changed dramatically, from a minority party relying on working-class support in mining regions to a totalitarian party whose leading role was declared by the Constitution and finally to a marginalised but strong opposition political party. The main objective of the paper is to find the sources of its exceptional resilience. Potential strategies for achieving electoral support in three different periods are discussed and compared: (a) 1920s - the emergence of the party resulting from the split-up of the Social Democrats, (b) 1946 - its victory in the semi-competitive elections, and (c) since 1990 – its struggle to maintain the former support and to address young voters in a multiparty system . Methodologically, the paper is based on the regression analysis conducted on detailed regional data about electoral support between 1925 and 2010 and relevant social, economic and political data; on archival materials about the party structure and strategies; and on interviews with the party managers. The discussion points out to the existence of small and changing territorial and social strongholds complemented by mass popular support as an effect of appropriate pre-election strategies and reactions to political and social changes.
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