CJ-96-4 -- Politics


Parliaments: World Directory = Parlements: Inter-Parliamentary Union. Genève: Inter-Parliamentary Union. 30 cm. (Case postale 438, CH-1211 Genève 19)

1996. 4 p., 90 leaves

The latest edition of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's world directory of parliaments is in English and French, arranged alphabetically by English-language country name. It is current as of May 1996. A country list concords French and English names and indicates IPU members (133 of 179 entries). Data include number of deputies, length of legislative period, date of last (in some cases also next) elections, president and secretary, with postal addresses and other contact details (now including some e-mail addresses). A contact name is also usually provided; for bicameral parliaments data are given for both houses. By comparison, The World Directory of Parliamentary Libraries (see German-language review at IFB 96-4-408) covers twelve more countries, the European Parliament and interregional parliaments in Latin America, and its data appear to be generally more reliable. On the other hand, the information it provides generally focuses specifically on the libraries rather than on the parliaments as a whole. [sah/rp]


Lexikon des DDR-Sozialismus: das Staats- und Gesellschaftssystem der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik [Dictionary of Socialism: State and Society in the German Democratic Republic]. Ed. Rainer Eppelmann. Paderborn [et al.]: Schöningh, 1996. x, 806 p. 24 cm. (Studien zur Politik, 29) ISBN 3-506-79329-2: DM 128.00

This reference book on the system of government of the German Democratic Republic consists of three general essays and 240 individual articles. Ideology and organizations form the main focus of the very uneven articles, which have been written by politicians, journalists, civil servants, and - relatively rarely - academics. This is particularly problematic in the more discursive and analytic entries, where party-line biases often predominate, reducing the book's value as a reference tool. Its guiding principle is to work against the deprecation of the GDR regime's totalitarian character. A chronology, list of GDR-specific abbreviations, bibliography, as well as name and subject indexes are also provided. For more balanced and comprehensive factual information, the DDR-Handbuch (3d ed., Köln, 1985) is to be preferred. More comparable are the first two volumes of So funktionierte die DDR (The Way the GDR Worked; Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1994), which offer a more satisfactory arrangement of entries. Nevertheless, this is an interesting work as long as the reader is prepared to read critically. [kuw/rp]

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