Synopses & Reviews
Paying particularly close attention to the provisional party organization and to the party secretaries who direct its activities, this book examines the changing position and role of the Polish United Workers' Party and its apparatus between 1975 and 1986. The role of the party secretaries and the way they perform is seen as a major determinant of the nature of party leadership and of the strength of political authority in communist states. The author 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.
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.