Red Flag Still Flying? Explaining AKEL — Cyprus's Communist Anomaly

Dunphy, Richard and Bale, Tim (2007) Red Flag Still Flying? Explaining AKEL — Cyprus's Communist Anomaly. Party Politics, 13 (3). pp. 287-304. ISSN 1354-0688

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Unless they have been content to remain defiantly on the oppositional fringe, or transform themselves into supporters of market economics, few of Europe's communist parties, west or east, have found it easy to adapt to the collapse of `actually existing socialism'. This is especially true of those that have not played down their past. This article looks at one exception, the Cypriot party, AKEL, which has managed to modernize policy, improve its electoral position, and play an important role in government at the same time as maintaining its communist subculture and symbols. It demonstrates, in keeping with Panebianco's `genetic' approach, how the party's origins and development, as well as leadership skill and the special circumstances of a small, divided island, have contributed to the organizational and ideological flexibility that help explain its relative success. It finishes by asking whether this success can continue in the long term.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This piece is fully co-authored with a collaborator from Dundee University. It represents the first in a series of publications arising from a British Academy funded project on left and communist parties since the end of the Cold War - a project that has involved interviewing party representatives from ten countries. The article is the first comparative politics piece published on Europe's most successful Communist Party and the first article on Cyprus to be published in what has established itself as the leading journal of scholars interested in parties. Because it argues for the significance of sub-cultural transmission in understanding why the party in question remains so resilient, the article weaves historical material with contemporary analysis. Both, however, are situated firmly in a comparative framework developed by Angelo Panebianco and in the debate on possible futures for the far left in Europe - a debate that the authors' project, and its forthcoming outputs, is helping to restart. It should also attract interest from the increasing number of scholars interested in the growing role of smaller, `fringe' parties in government - an interest reflected in Kris Deschouwer's forthcoming book on the topic.
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:18
Last Modified: 11 May 2012 11:34
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