Browsing by Subject "post-war"

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  • Larmola, Heikki Markku (2003)
    The main target of my study is to make a description and explanation about the reasons and political process, why, how, and when the Communist party achieved power monopoly in the former post-World War II Czechoslovakia (CSR). In order to make the explanation more credible and valid the case of the post-war Finland has served to the comparative political analysis. The "Czechoslovak Path" meaning the Communist seizure in that country has been effectively used by Finnish anti-Communist politicians as a warning sign. The core hypothesis reads as follows: the utility of the former USSR to help the Communist seizure to power monopoly was much bigger in the post-war Czechoslovakia than in Finland. The Soviet political options in CSR were bigger than in Finland, while the Soviet expectable costs to realize the desired Communist seizure in Finland would have been bigger than those in Czechoslovakia. I have concerned this hypothesis within the regional context of "Mitteleuropa". The "Mitteleuropa" means the zone of smaller states between the traditional German and Russian spheres. The structural realism (neorealism) in Kenneth Waltz's sense serves as a metatheory building the theoretical framework of my study. Thus, the decisive systemic structural factor in international politics is the prevailing distribution of capabilities across the great powers. Also adaptation theories by James N. Rosenau and Hans Mouritzen and classical geopolitical theories as well were applied within the neorealist framework. The theoretical framework has been applied into the historical sources, mainly modern Czech and Slovak ones, by using also traditional historical method: source criticism. The relation of CSR to the crucial German-Russian dilemma was just the opposite to that of Finland. The USSR appeared for the CSR as an only available guarantee against the German threat, while the pre-1945 USSR had been regarded by Finland as a main enemy. Because of post-war mutual power balance calculations between the two great powers, USA and USSR, the different geopolitical positions of CSR and Finland the core hypothesis seems to be valid. In addition, the Czechoslovak domestic political structures and political practises as well as the strength of Communist party differed so much that the Czechoslovak Communists achieved easily political dominance in their country already in early phase, if indeed by help of the Soviet patronage. The Czechoslovak Communists had also supremacy in ground forces, security forces, and the public administration. This never happened in Finland thanks to the successful military defence in the Karelian Isthmus, and thanks to the Swedish more or less direct support to the non-Communist political forces in Finland.
  • Strang, Johan (2019)
    It is often argued that the Scandinavian post-war period was marked by a democratic optimism that contrasts with the deep concerns for the inherent dangers of popular sovereignty and the thorough moral reconsideration that took place on the European continent in the wake of World War II. This article seeks to balance this view by exploring what Scandinavian intellectuals believed had caused the collapse of democracy in Europe in the 1930s and what they saw as the main threats to democracy in the emerging post-war societies. Focusing on the fears of socialist planning, concerns about the position of individual rights and freedoms in modern societies, and the anxieties concerning the secular total state, the article suggests that the Scandinavian post-war democratic settlement was indeed built around a different set of ideas from those evident in many other places in Europe, but that it was no less informed by recent historical experiences or concerns for the fragility of democracy.