In recent years much has been written on the communist successor parties. Although much of the existent work focuses on the electoral performance of these parties or has described, in great detail, the development of single parties, this paper evaluates the utility of theories of party identity change in application to the successor parties. As an initial exploration we investigate the successor parties’ programs before and after the initial competitive parliamentary elections in Hungary (in 1990), Poland (in 1991) and Russia (in 1993) to determine the extent to which poor electoral performance in initial competitive elections compelled the successor parties to alter their political identities.

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