After 1989 the Post-Communist Left used to be described as a “retreating army”. In Europe, at the end of the 20th Century, a downsizing of the Left parties, in particular the ones situated to the left of the socialist and social-democratic parties, seemed to be unavoidable. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the third millennium new political options emerged. These assumptions are the basis for the interest in studying the European Radical Left (see M. Damiani, La sinistra radicale europea. Italia, Spagna, Francia, Germania, Donzelli, Roma, 2016). Starting from these considerations, the purpose of this contribution is to highlight the common features which characterize the Radical Left parties of the twenty-first Century and their differences with the Communist parties of the 20th Century. In particular, the attention will be focused on three key aspects related between each other and able to describe effectively those political experiences, on their strength and their weaknesses. The first aspect deals with the structural dimension pro-systemic, no longer anti-system, assumed by this typology of parties. The second aspect concerns the values, which are perceived as strongly discontinuous with the classic ideology of 1900. The third aspect is the organizational model, based on the political pluralism and very different from the model of the Communist parties of the 20th Century, which are built on the principle of «democratic centralism». Around these three dimensions (pro-systemic structure, non-ideological values and pluralistic organization) there is the emergence of a new political family, the radical Left, which represents a clean cut with the political experiences of twentieth Century matrix. From the methodological point of view, in addition to the literary sources, this work uses several primary sources: documentation provided by the main parties of the European Radical Left, interviews that the author conducted with party’s secretaries, political leaders, national party leaders and qualified witnesses involved in the most important radical Left parties.
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