Post-communism is the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies.


The policies of most communist parties in both the Eastern and Western Bloc had been governed by the example of the Soviet Union. In most countries in the Eastern Bloc, following the fall of communist-led governments in 1989 the communist parties split in two factions: a reformist social democratic party and a new less reform-oriented communist party. The newly created social democratic parties were generally larger and more powerful than the remaining communist parties—only in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan did the communist parties remain a significant force.

In the Western Bloc, many of the self-styled communist parties reacted by changing their policies to a more moderate and less radical course. In countries such as Italy and Germany, post-communism is marked by the increased influence of their existing social democrats. The anti-Soviet communist parties in the Western Bloc (e.g. the Trotskyist parties) who felt that the fall of the Soviet Union vindicated their views and predictions did not particularly prosper from it—in fact, some became less radical as well.