Revolution from within

Revolution from within : The Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party and the Collapse of Communism

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In this highly original book, Patrick O'Neil analyses the catalysts of the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and offers explanations for these events. The exceptional case of Hungary is used to support theoretical concepts regarding the transition in Eastern Europe using new empirical evidence and institutional theory. The Hungarian transition from communism is distinct in that the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party was the initiator of its own transition but also acted as its own greatest enemy. This book provides a detailed analysis of the internal reform movement within the Hungarian Communist Party and its role in the incremental transition to democracy in the late 1980s. The author utilises party archives and primary interviews with important figures in the Communist Party to examine the effect of institutional relationships on the collapse of the authoritarian order. He also emphasises the role of reform circles in accelerating the disintegration of the Communist Party in Hungary. The book concludes that the way in which an autocratic order perpetuates itself affects the manner of its decline and the new system that takes its place. This authoritative book will be welcomed by academics and students interested in the politics of transition both in Hungary and Eastern Europe and the politics of the demise of communism in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
  • Cheltenham, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1858987660
  • 9781858987668

Review quote

`. . . this work is highly original. It is a complete account of the process or organizational development and of the fate, rivalries, constraints, and political shortcomings of the reform circles and their predecessors. This book will be very useful for historians, political scientists, sociologists, and undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students of socialism and its transformation in eastern Europe. . .' -- Maria Csanadi, Slavic Reviewsshow more

Table of contents

Contents: Introduction Part I: Theoretical Approaches 1. Transitions, Institutions and State Socialism Part II: The Hungarian Case 2. State Socialism and the Intelligentsia in Eastern Europe: Hungary in Comparative Institutional Perspective, 1948-1988 3. The Rise of the Reform Cycles 4. The Organization of the Reform Circle Movement and the Party in Disorder 5. The Final Party Congress and the Reform Alliance: Victory or Defeat? Part III: Conclusions 6. Institutional Order and the Path of Political Change: Hungary and Eastern Europe Appendices Bibliography Indexshow more

About Patrick H. O'Neil

Patrick H. O'Neil, Assistant Professor of Politics and Government, University of Puget Sound, USshow more