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Even compared to other socialist countries, the Polish path of transformation from one system to another was exceptional. Political scientific literature indicates that the kind of breakthrough initiated by the Round Table talks was the one based on negotiation and a settlement among the elites. The agreement we are talking about is of course the …
The “shock tactics” to which the Polish economy was subjected during the 1990s have discredited liberalism as a political movement in the country. Over the last five years, Poland’s two major rightwing parties have come to dominate the political landscape. Their anti-communism, national conservatism, and distrust of “moral relativism” find ample support among the electorate. The Centre-Left, meanwhile, tarnished by corruption scandals, fails to offer convincing alternatives. With re-elections set for 21 October, it seems unlikely that Poland will alter its political course rightwards.
The answer to the question put forward in the title of this essay is elusive. Whether Poland is considered to be “in” or “out” of the West is a matter of perception, and perceptions are changing. Poland of today is an interesting case for the analysis of westernization. Apart from being the second biggest country …
1. Introduction In October 1999 the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw, one of Poland’s major independent think tanks, published the results of a brief survey of the Polish public’s support of European integration. Short as it was, the publication caused a storm in the media and the political world, with the reverberations reaching Brussels …
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