It is not possible to understand the nature and functioning of post-communist political parties without understanding their relationship with the state. On the one hand, few parties in the region would be able to survive and perform without state resources as they lack strong roots within the wider society. On the other hand, the relatively weak states inherited from the communist period offer parties and elites opportunities for various forms of rent-seeking within state institutions. But how can we understand the relationship between parties and the state? How do the party-state links work in practice and do they exhibit any cross-national or cross-party variation? Are there any discernible patterns of party-state linkages among the post-communist democracies?
Previously published as a special issue of The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, this volume addresses these questions. The party-state linkages are analyzed alongside three analytical dimensions: state financing of parties, their legal regulation, and party patronage within the state institutions. The contributors bring together case studies of post-communist countries, as well as cross-country comparative analysis, each addressing at least one of these analytical dimensions. Besides providing a framework within which studies of party-state relationship can be undertaken, the book brings comparative evidence on the extent and the manner in which parties in the region use the state for their own purposes.
"Based on extensive and detailed empirical analysis and written with clarity and precision, Political Parties and the State in Postcommunist Europe enhances our understanding of the relationship between political parties and the state in Central and Eastern Europe. Its publication is very much to be welcomed." - Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 89, no. 1, January 2011
Introduction 1. Political Parties and the State in Post-Communist Europe: The Nature of Symbiosis 2. The Rise of the Partisan State? Parties, Patronage and the Ministerial Bureaucracy in Hungary 3. State Party Funding and Patronage in Post-1989 Poland 4. Bratislava, Powered by the State: The Role of Public Resources in Party-Building in Slovakia 5. From Private Organizations to Democratic Infrastructure: Political Parties and the State in Estonia 6. The Influence of Party Patronage and State Finance on Electoral Outcomes: Evidence from Romania 7. Managing Democracy: Political Parties and the State in Russia