Publication Soziale Bewegungen / Organisierung - Europa “Hard Left” and “Soft Left” Antagonism? - The Transformation of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and its Relations to the Social Democrats

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October 2003

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Presented at the 4th European Conference of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Warsaw, October 29 – 31, 2003

The Communist party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) has developed into a political party which enjoys considerable influence and has been well rooted in the society. Mere election arithmetic prove that a broader recognition and acceptance of KSČM and its ”reconciliation” with the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) could have profoundly changed the party-political constellation in the Czech republic after 1989. Until now, however, the coalition potential of KSČM has remained limited on national level. The paper argues that one of reasons for it is the ambiguous image of the KSČM. While a programmatic shift towards ČSSD is hard to be disputed, the party’s aim of a revolutionary, systemic change has been largely interpreted as an anti-systemic and therefore negativist or even anti-democratic orientation. Also, its revolutionary rhetoric notwithstanding, the majority stream in the party seems to come closer to the conservative-liberal Civic Democratic Party (ODS) than to ČSSD in strategic issues such as European integration or the attitude toward Germany.  ...

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