This special issue focuses on the resilience of the communist regimes in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China. Three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, all four not only survived a hostile post-communist world dominated by liberal capitalism but have thrived economically. The five articles in this special issue hope to build on existing scholarship on authoritarian resilience while contributing in the following ways. First, by adopting a regional framework, we hope to offer a fuller examination of varieties in communist Asia. After all, this is the only world region with such a large concentration of surviving communist parties. Second, while highlighting the critical role of revolutionary origins, our approach corrects the tendency in scholarship on democratic transition that neglects the totalitarian legacies. Third, the articles support the institutionalist approach by showing how ruling parties in authoritarian regimes are critical; yet we also seek to balance between historical legacies and contemporary developments and to analyze the interactions among ideologies, organizations, and resources.

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