The political re-emergence of post-communist successor parties in several nations of East-Central Europe raises the theoretical question of their role in the ongoing democratization process. This paper examines the electoral revival of successor parties in Poland, Hungary, and eastern Germany, in contrast first to the failure of the new competing social democratic parties in these nations, and then to the failure of the successor parties in the Czech and Slovak republics. Through an analysis of the reasons for successful adaptation, the successor parties are found to fulfill several positive roles in democratization under stressful circumstances.

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