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Democracy In Poland : Second Edition - Raymond Taras

Democracy In Poland

Second Edition

Paperback

Published: 20th April 2002
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Ever-changing election rules, a highly fluid party system, a constitution considered illegitimate by more than one major political actor, polarized political elites, and a system of corruption that has grown up together with the young democracy itself -- these characterize contemporary Polish politics. At the same time Poland is frequently identified as the most successful example of a transition from communism to capitalism, having led this series of world-changing transitions. It has distanced itself from a turbulent history as pawn in Eastern Europe's international politics to become a leading candidate for membership in the exclusive European Union club. As Polish democratic politics evolves it is taking unexpected forms and producing equally unexpected results.Through a comprehensive analysis of politics in this young European democracy, Marjorie Castle and Ray Taras explain the complexity and uncertainty of political processes and outcomes in Poland. Poland'spast -- the flawed Second Republic established after World War I, as well as the imperfect independence in the Soviet shadow following World War II's devastation -- dramatizes the unique historic opportunity it was given in 1989 to determine its own political future and perhaps eventually become a major European power. Choices made in 1989 and thereafter would not only construct a new democracy but shape and limit its possibilities. The primary focus here is on contemporary politics: what the fundamental political cleavages are, whether parties adequately represent popular interests, who the political elites are and what games they play, whatinfluence the Catholic Church still holds in an aspiring Western-style secular republic, and what policy challenges face Poland in the future. Inimitable political leaders, changing political arenas, and complexpolicy-making processes come to life through a fascinating narrative characterized by an insider's insight.

List of Tables and Figuresp. vii
List of Acronymsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Understanding a Functioning Democracyp. xiii
Historic Discontinuities: Shaping Poland's Political Traditionsp. 1
Beginnings: Dynastic Polandp. 2
Democratic Breakthrough: The Republican Commonwealthp. 6
Reform and Breakdown: The Destruction of the Commonwealthp. 11
Resistance: The Struggle for Independencep. 15
Political Traditions: Polonia Reconstitutap. 18
The Communist Era: The System and Its Crisesp. 29
The Soviet Model and Its Polish Variantp. 30
The International Environmentp. 33
Socialist Socioeconomic Developmentp. 37
Political Culturep. 43
Political Structures and Ruling Coalitionsp. 48
Popular Mobilization Against Communist Rulep. 52
Impassep. 62
Regime Change and Democratizationp. 63
The Players of Transitionp. 64
Roundtable Proceduresp. 72
Roundtable Bargainingp. 75
The June 1989 Electionsp. 81
After the June Elections: The End of the Communist Party?p. 85
Implications of the Polish Transitionp. 92
The Political Players: Elites, Parties, and Other Actors in the Third Republicp. 95
Winners and Losers in the New Democratic Games, 1989-2001p. 96
Political Elitesp. 104
Parties and the Party Systemp. 116
Other Players on the Political Scenep. 142
The Played Upon: Society
Cleavagesp. 152
Electoral Behaviorp. 164
Mass Political Attitudesp. 170
Popular Protestsp. 178
Economic Interests versus Religion and the Pastp. 181
Political and Economic Arenas: The Institutions of the Third Republicp. 185
Political Structuresp. 186
Economic Structuresp. 211
Policy Challenges Shaping Poland's Futurep. 219
European or Polish? The European Union, NATO, and Neighborsp. 220
Addressing Economic Inequalities: Globalization or Paternalism?p. 232
Forging Effective and Transparent Institutionsp. 241
A Secular State for a Catholic Nation: Social, Cultural, and Ethnic Policiesp. 250
Notesp. 255
Selected Bibliographyp. 277
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780813339351
ISBN-10: 0813339359
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 311
Published: 20th April 2002
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition