Regime Change and Democratization
Regime change in Poland took place more swiftly than any political actors expected. A pact intended to control the pace and scope of the transition had been concluded; yet in less than half a year the political landscape was altered beyond the imaginings of the pact-crafters. This chapter analyzes the dynamics and implications of this sudden transformation. But times of regime change, political transitions, are crucial junctures in politics, both for shaping institutional trajectories and for the fortunes of political players. The chapter examines the political players, their resources and issue preferences, and their actions and responses to others' actions, in order both to make this sudden and dramatic regime change comprehensible and to present its possible implications for later outcomes. An interesting contrast here is the position of the Catholic Church as democratic politics began. But just like the other political players, the Catholic Church would have to adapt its tactics and resources to the new political arena.