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SPP 265

Author: Richard Sakwa, U. of Kent, Canterbury
Description: The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) has emerged as the single strongest party in Russia today and has a plurality of seats in parliament. Despite claims by its leader, Gennadii Zyuganov, that the CPRF is willing to work with the market and the international political community, the history of the party and his own writings suggest conflicts in goals. The paper describes how the CPRF was born not as part of the move towards social democracy and the market but to reject these developments. Although divided internally into at least three clear ideological positions - those who wish to revive Marxism, those open to moderate reform within the socialist framework, and Zyuganov's own brand of communist nationalism - there is no clear constituency within the party for democratic reform. The rudiments of democracy have emerged in Russia, but there remains a question whether the current regime would be able to withstand the return to power of a party and leader committed to the current policies of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland