This article traces the development of two post-communist parties—the Czech KSČM and the German PDS—illustrating how they may continue to shape hard left policy in an expanded European Union (EU). It analyses three policy areas in detail (security and defense policy, employment policy and policies towards the institutional reform of the EU) and argues that, providing the parties avoid internal ideological conflict, they may come to play significant roles in influencing hard left policy in future years. The PDS is likely to act as a bridge for other hard left groups with more conservative agendas while the much larger KSČM may attempt to shift the ideological balance back towards more structurally conservative anti-capitalist policies.
The post-communist left and the European Union: The Czech Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) and the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)
Dr. Dan Hough is a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex. His research has centered on parties and party systems in Germany and central Europe, electoral behavior and the GDR.
Dr. Vladimír Handl is a member of the Czech Institute of International Relations, Prague. He was formerly active in a number of German research institutes as well as the Institute for German Studies in the UK.
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Dan Hough, Vladimír Handl; The post-communist left and the European Union: The Czech Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) and the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2004; 37 (3): 319–339. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2004.06.002
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