Poland: The Conquest of History
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Providing an up-to-date analysis of the politics & recent history of Poland, this volume explores not only its deep-seated sociopolitical rifts, but also its remarkable achievements over the past decade. Poland pioneered the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Since then, Polish politics have been shaped by domestic reformism & the negotiated abdication of ruling elites in 1989, as well as the successor communist & Solidarity camps. The division between these two has cut across the potential reform coalition wanting to complete modernization by effecting the economic & social restructuring required by entry to the European Union. Political life & the party system have been further fragmented by secular-Catholic & rural-urban conflicts, & the growing regional split between the north-west & south-east. Yet, as the author points out, Poland has managed to maintain social stability at the same time as consolidating democracy & its political system. Now transcending this historical security dilemma through EU & NATO membership, Poles are presented with a new challenge as democratic capitalism threatens the strong cultural traditions & distinctiveness of their thousand-year-old nation.
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