At a certain point in these transformations, the communist parties gave up their monopoly of power -- often removing a constitutional clause on that subject and admitting rival parties -- and submitted to competitive elections, which turned over power to their opposition. There were significant differences, for example, with regard to the abruptness or completeness of the change among the elites, ranging from the purge of the old elites in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) to the sliding-scale, power-sharing arrangements in many other postcommunist societies (Robert, 1985).
As in Southern Europe and Latin America, the ruptura with the old regime transferred authority only with certain de facto limitations to the new elites. Whereas in the former areas, the army and both private and foreign big business often continued to wield powerful influence, in Eastern Europe it was more often the bureaucracy and large, state-owned firms and farms. In Russia, the entire military-industrial complex at first survived the meltdown of communist control. ...Show more