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
After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it seemed that communism belonged only to the past and was a more appropriate subject of research for historians than for political scientists. This impression is wrong. Communism is directly relevant to political science, not only because communist regimes still exist in Cuba, China, and elsewhere in Asia, but also because an adequate account of communism must include an explanation of why it is attractive or, on the contrary, why it has failed. An understanding of communism must also include an examination of its future as well as its legacy in former communist countries that are now democracies. This entry addresses these topics by analyzing communism as a theory, a type of regime, and a political organization. As a political theory, communism has changed over the years but has always been significant ...