The collapse of communist power may well be seen by future historians as the most significant event of the late twentieth century. It directly affected approximately twenty countries in three continents and brought about the eventual end of the Cold War. Yet there are very few comparative and theoretical analyses of the 1989-91 revolutions; this book seeks to remedy that situation. Holmes starts by considering official corruption and campaigns against it, seeing such campaigns as symptomatic of a legitimation crisis that developed in most of the communist world following the failure of the economic reforms of the 1960s and 1970s. He then considers other aspects of the growing legitimation crisis, and relates these directly to general crisis and collapse. In the conclusion, Holmes argues against those who have seen these revolutions as the final proof of the crisis of modernity.
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Leslie Holmes is at University of Melbourne.Review:
"An outstanding work in comparative communism--appropriate for an upper-level or graduate course in comparative communism or democratization."--Steven F. Jackson, Rollins College
"Without doubt, Holmes provides a most interesting and scholarly analysis of the nature of corruption in communist systems and its direct linkage with the crises of legitimation which have ensued since 1988, and in some cases, continue today. As a scholar, Holmes has made a significant
contribution."--Anthony R. Brunello, Eckerd College
"A major contribution to comparative communist studies....Holmes's focus on the role of corruption and anti-corruption campaigns in bringing about the crisis and collapse of state socialist regimes offers a fascinating and original perspective on one of the critical turning points of
contemporary history."--William A. Joseph, Wellesley College
"One of the best attempts to explain communist collapse....Will be valuable to students not only of comparative politics but also to those studying the sociology of modern and post-modern societies."--David Lane, Cambridge University
"Ingenious and thought-provoking....Will serve as a rich source of reference as well as adding another boost to the ongoing effort of interpretation."--Zygmunt Bauman, University of Leeds
"A very dense text, which is often challenging and impressive..."--Slavic Review
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