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2009 | 3(92) | 61-76

Article title

INSTITUTIONAL MODEL OF 1989: A RECONSTRUCTION ATTEMPT (Model instytucjonalny 1989 - próba rekonstrukcji)


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The institutional model designed in the course of Round-table talks should be examined, above all, from the point of view of cognitive horizons of its authors, and not that of the later course of events; particularly because of the very short period of its application (from the end of the debates in April to the appointment of Mazowiecki's Cabinet in September 1989). The basic assumption of the model was retaining control by the ruling party and providing stability in the division between the ruling bloc and opposition, supported by measures determining political results of elections, non-existent in modern democracies. An important factor in the construction of an institutional model by the sides of the Round Table talks is the way in which they have overcome a 'confidence deficit' that prevents a universally recognized order from being built. This requires both reference to political vision of the sides of conflict, and to the manners of distribution of confidence in the very process of negotiation of the model, based on the acceptance of trade union and political pluralism and, thereby, the departure from the underlying principle of the Polish People's Republic, i.e. the principle of non-competitive exercise of power. The causative mechanism was based on wrongly (from the point of view of the government) negotiated electoral law and on the overestimation of the scope of control of their own candidates for deputies to the Sejm. In spite of that fact, in long-term perspective, it provided better position to the authorities of the Polish People's Republic and their powerbase than that available to post-Communist forces in other members of the Soviet bloc. Moreover, it contributed to strengthening of the elements of continuity in the systems of government in the Polish People's republic and the Third Republic of Poland.





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  • Rafal Matyja, Wyzsza Szkola Biznesu - National Louis University w Nowym Saczu, ul. Zielona 27, 33-300 Nowy Sacz, Poland


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Publication order reference


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