The End of Communist Power: Anti-corruption Campaigns and Legitimation Crisis
Using an analytical, comparative approach that examines communist regimes from Moscow and Beijing to Havana and Kampuchea, Leslie Holmes argues that the extraordinarily rapid decline and collapse of communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1992 had its roots in the anti-corruption campaigns introduced in the early 1980s. Originally created to combat the disastrous economic reforms of the 1960s and '70s, the anti-corruption campaigns could not meet citizen expectations, and ultimately had the unintended effect of provoking a legitimation crisis throughout the communist world. Holmes studies this crisis in detail, investigating campaigns against official corruption in more than twenty communist states, with particular emphasis on the former USSR and the People's Republic of China. In a final chapter, Holmes locates the failure of communist power in the larger debate about the crisis of modernity, and argues--controversially--that the collapse of communism is not necessarily of much relevance to this alleged crisis.
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