The Collapse of Communist Power in Poland: Strategic Misperceptions and Unanticipated Outcomes, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Collapse of Communist Power in Poland

Strategic Misperceptions and Unanticipated Outcomes, 1st Edition

By Jacqueline Hayden


240 pages

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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Based on extensive original research, including interviews with key participants, this book investigates the sudden and unforeseen collapse of communist power in Poland in 1989. It sets out the sequence of events, and examines the strategies of the various political groupings prior to the partially free election of June 1989.

This volume argues that the specific negotiating strategies adopted by the communist party representatives in the Round Table discussions before the elections was a key factor in communism’s collapse. The book shows that on many occasions, PZPR decision-makers ignored expert advice, and many Round Table bargains went against the party’s best interests. Using in-depth interviews with major party players, including General Jaruzelski, General Kiszczak and Mieczyslaw Rakowski, as well as Solidarity advisors such as Adam Michnik, the text provides a unique source of first-hand accounts of Poland’s revolutionary drama.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Explaining Change: The Paucity of the Agency-Structure Debate 3. Explaining the Collapse of Communism in Poland 4. PZPR Strategic Goals: Expectation and Outcome 5. Strategies and Outcomes Part 1: Institutional Choices of the PZPR 6. Strategies and Outcomes Part 2: The PZPR’s Choice of Electoral System and Voting Formulae 7. The Election Campaign 8. Discussion and Conclusion

About the Author

Jacqueline Hayden is a lecturer in politics and the Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin. She worked as a current affairs journalist and radio producer for 15 years before completing her PhD in 2002. Her previous books include Poles Apart: Solidarity and the New Poland (1994).

About the Series

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism & Socialism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General