West European Communist Parties After the Revolutions of 1989
The collapse of the communist regimes following the dramatic events of 1989-91 astonished the entire world. For many in the west, the 'triumph' of market capitalism was seen as finally ringing the death-knell for the communist movement. West European communist parties, many of which had harboured ambitions of winning significant political influence in the mid-1970s when 'Eurocommunism' was at its height, now found themselves faced with having to respond to a crisis which threatened the very logic of their existence. For some, the only rational response was simply to abandon communism. Others sought to adapt to the new circumstances, whilst a few sought to ignore them altogether. The chapters in this volume analyse the differing reactions of communist parties in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Britain and Germany to the challenges posed by the disintegration of the communist empire. Whilst it is no longer possible to talk of a coherent communist 'family' in western Europe. It may be too soon to write communism's obituary.