In 1989, Poland became the first Eastern Bloc country to shake off the dominance of its ruling Communist party. Although other post-Communist countries have since followed suit, Poland's experience has been unique in its move to Westernize. In this timely and insightful account, Ben Slay provides the first integrated, comprehensive assessment of Poland's economic transformation from central planning to a market system, and the political and sociological factors that have contributed to it. Drawing on the work of Western and Polish scholars as well as his own research, Slay traces the evolution of the Polish transformation from its historical roots in People's Poland and predicts potential problems and successes facing the Polish economy.
A ground-breaking addition to the emerging study of post- Communist political economies, The Polish Economy demonstrates that other countries now struggling to join the West have much to learn from Poland's example. Of interest to scholars across the social sciences, this work provides general as well as professional readers with a compelling account of the realities behind one of the most important events of our time--the collapse of the Eastern Bloc.
Originally published in 1994.
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"It is Slay's rooting of modern Polish history in Poland's complex past and emphasis on the forces of continuity which distinguishes this analysis of a former communist economy from those whose framework is simply one of the transition from 'socialism' to 'capitalism', as though history began in 1948. As Slay shows, there is plenty in Poland's past which has echoes in the present.... This excellent and highly readable book offers a well-balanced assessment."--Financial Times
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