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Legitimization function of the Socialist International: The case of the Central- Eastern Europe (CEE)

Wojciech Ziętara

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The social democratic parties in the Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) after 1989 were founded with reference to the tradition of historical parties of the interwar period and the post-war emigration (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania), transformation of the anti-communist opposition (Poland) or, most often, through programme and organizational transformation of communist parties (Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia). The “social-democratization” process of communist parties obtained legitimization from the Socialist International (SI), the biggest organization in the world of the contemporary modern social democratic movement. The process of external legitimization was extended to the years 1989-1996 and it was conducted in two stages: 1. Support for reconstruction of social democratic parties referring to traditions of historical parties (1989-1992) and 2. Acceptance of idea transition of communist parties into social-democratic parties (1993-1996). Currently there are thirty parties from the regions in the Socialist International which is a significant reference point in a current activity of particular member-parties.

Keywords: Social democratic parties – Central-Eastern Europe – Socialist International