Parties and the Party System
The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 and the stated intension of establishing a democratic political order in post-Soviet Russia has confronted the people of that country with new challenges in circumstances of economic and social collapse that can hardly be judged the most propitious for the establishment of stable, effective and responsive institutions and procedures. After more than seven decades of political monopoly exercised by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, from 1917 until the spring of 1990, no citizens alive today have direct experience of a functioning party system such as forms the basis of modern representative democracy. The lack of appropriate experience, the continuation into the post-Soviet era of institutions, attitudes and values that were instilled into citizens by generations of authoritarian rule, and, finally, a fairly rudimentary appreciation of how democracy actually works in a complex society, all combine to form a legacy of communist party rule that makes the emergence and establishment of a recognisable party system somewhat problematic.
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