Pluralism, Socialism, and Political Legitimacy: Reflections on Opening up Communism

F. M. Barnard (Author)
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The processes of transition from communist rule in Eastern Europe and the dilemmas of reform in the Soviet Union invite reflection on the role of pluralism in rendering a political system legitimate and democratic. Frederick M. Barnard examines differing conceptions of political pluralism, focusing on the question of how political differentiation can evolve and flourish without leading to crippling political fragmentation. The book uses certain proposals put forward by Czechoslovak reformers during the Prague Spring as a point of departure in examining broader questions about socialism and pluralism. These reformers outlined a unique form of pluralist socialism, and their arguments in favour of this political order take up a number of issues fundamental not only to the current reform process, but to political theory generally. The ways in which these proposals differed from others of the time put forward in Poland and Yugoslavia as well as from Western democratic theory are also discussed.

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
4 December 2008

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