Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The concept of postcommunism is disputed because it merely describes the previous regime in a given country and says nothing about the newly formed regimes subsequent to the collapse of communism. As such, the concept of postcommunism is imprecise, both as a descriptive and as an analytical category in social science. It can be applied only to the relatively short period of time between the collapse of the old and the establishment of the new regime—in other words, to the period in which the social and political relationships are defined far more by the legacy of the previous regime than by internal and external factors. The essence of post-communism is to stress the domination of a non-democratic political legacy in new settings after dictatorship. It is for this reason that the concept had been used, first and foremost, in the international political science literature in the 1990s. This entry Communist ...