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Look Inside Political Authority and Party Secretaries in Poland, 1975–1986

Political Authority and Party Secretaries in Poland, 1975–1986

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Part of Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies

  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521122863

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  • This 1989 book deals with the changing position and role of the Polish United Workers' Party and its apparatus between 1975 and 1986. Particular attention is paid to the provincial party organisation and to the party secretaries who direct its activities. Their role and the way they perform it is seen as a major determinant of the nature of party leadership and, more generally, of the strength of political authority in communist states: Dr Lewis argues that the protracted crisis of the Polish system reflects less the weakness of communist party power than critical problems encountered in accumulating and exercising authority. The crisis of 1980 was as much due to inadequate political strategies as to the economic failings of the Gierek regime, and during the solidarity period the party apparatus (and particularly the provincial organisation) acted as a major source of resistance: military rule provided little opportunity for a reassertion of party leadership or the consolidation of political authority. The individual biographies of over 700 party officials have been scrutinised to produce this major survey of Polish policy.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521122863
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables
    Preface
    List of abbreviations
    1. Communist power and party authority in Poland
    2. Provincial party secretaries: Polish officials in comparative perspectives
    3. Provincial party committees in Poland, 1975–80
    4. Indecision and odnowa: obstacles to re-establishing party authority
    5. Renewal and party authority: the extraordinary congress and its consequences
    6. The advance of the military
    7. Political normalisation and party authority
    8. The Polish road to political stability: ruling without authority
    9. Conclusion
    Notes
    Index.

  • Author

    Paul G. Lewis

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