Transitions and Non-Transitions from Communism: Regime Survival in China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam

Transitions and Non-Transitions from Communism: Regime Survival in China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam

Language: English

Pages: 364

ISBN: 1107023882

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, many scholars have sought to explain the collapse of communism. Yet, more than two decades on, communist regimes continue to rule in a diverse set of countries including China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam. In a unique study of fourteen countries, Steven Saxonberg explores the reasons for the survival of some communist regimes while others fell. He also shows why the process of collapse differed among communist-led regimes in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Based on the analysis of the different processes of collapse that has already taken place, and taking into account the special characteristics of the remaining communist regimes, 'Transitions and Non-Transitions from Communism' discusses the future prospects for the survival of the regimes in China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam.

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The TPLF was able to gain peasant support by 86 88 89 90 91 Ibid., 127. 87 Halliday and Molyneux, The Ethiopian Revolution, pp. 178–9. Kinfe Abraham, Ethiopia from Bullets to the Ballot Box: The Bumpy Road to Democracy and the Political Economy of Transition (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1994), xix–xx. Young, Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia, pp. 93, 117. Girma Kebbede, The State and Development in Ethiopia (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1992), p. 23. Young, Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia, p.

equate imperial military power with having a monopoly on Truth. Nevertheless, the other pillar of the regimes’ ideological legitimacy – economic performance – had not yet received a decisive blow. In fact, most of the East European countries enjoyed relatively high economic growth and improved living standards during the early to mid 1970s, as even freezing regimes in East Germany and Czechoslovakia restructured investments to increase consumption. So although ideological legitimacy began to

hope I am more than a shadow for my wife, Danka, the first part of the proverb at any rate is correct. I would never have been able to complete this book without her love and support, which she gives me “eight days a week.” Thank you, Danka! 1 Introduction The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe caught the world by surprise. Today, however – more than two decades later – it is somehow assumed that communism had to fall. But if the collapse of communism was inevitable, why did several

pressure from below had little impact. It was instead the communist elite that brought about the change, since by “the 1980s ideology had long since ceased to have any real significance for most of the Soviet elite.”138 Of course, it is difficult to prove exactly who stopped believing in the ideology, or when. Still, Di Palma’s argument about legitimacy based on economic performance suggests that most of the elite had good reason to stop believing by the late 1970s. While noting that a far-reaching

showing how institutional incentives influence the behavior of different classes and strata in society. Though much of the literature on the anti-communist uprisings (including that following a rational-choice approach) concludes that students and intellectuals are the most willing to revolt, followed by workers and then professionals, most of these approaches take such “preferences” as given, without offering an explanation for them. The institutionalist approach taken in this book does offer

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