The unexpected emergence of the Solidarity movement in Poland has focused Western attention on conflicts within socialist states. The rapid truncation of Solidarity and the rise of a new image of the state as a militarized, relatively autonomous, repressive apparatus has left several theoretical questions unresolved and raised some new ones. This volume draws from historical and political accounts of the events that haunted Poland between 1980 and 1984, providing a complex sociological explanation of the major processes that occur within the state-society sphere of relationships.
In part one, the authors examine the conflict between social movements and the state in Poland: the history of Solidarity, the nature of the political conflict between Solidarity and the Communist state, the institutionaliza-tion of the means of control by the party over society, the functioning of civil society, and the mediating role of the Catholic Church. In part two, the authors treat issues that go beyond Solidarity: the scope of state autonomy, legitimacy conflicts within socialist and capitalist states, other social movements in Poland, and the philosophical symbolism of Solidarity.