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Path Dependence and the Inception of the Polish "Negotiated Revolution" of 1989

[journal article]

Petrescu, Dragoş

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Abstract This study puts forward a frame of analysis of the Polish “negotiated revolution” of 1989, which initiated the revolutionary regime changes that took place in East- Central Europe (ECE) that year. The 1989 events in ECE had three particular features: they were non-utopian; they were not carried out in the name of a particular class; and they were non-violent (with the conspicuous exception of Romania). Considering these specific aspects, this author contends that the 1989 events can be termed “postmodern revolutions.” In order to explain the Polish “negotiated revolution” of 1989, the present study employs an explanatory model previously applied to the bloody revolution of December 1989 in Romania, which takes into consideration both the domestic developments and the entangled histories of the Soviet bloc countries over the period 1945–89, as well as the issue of recent path dependence. The main assumption is that the collapse of communist rule in Poland and in the other five communist countries which experienced a regime change in 1989 was provoked by a complex interplay of structural, conjunctural and nation-specific factors.
Keywords Poland; revolution; political change; path dependence; communism; political culture
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; General History
Free Keywords negotiated revolution; reactive sequence; 1989
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 103-118
Journal Annals of the University of Bucharest / Political science series, 16 (2014) 2
ISSN 1582-2486
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works