chapter  1
24 Pages

The Party System, Involvement in Politics, and Political Leadership

WithJerzy J. Wiatr

This chapter presents a synthesis in outline form of the historical evolution of the party system in postwar Poland, from 1944 to 1980 and traces back the ideological assumptions legitimizing that system in the period in question. It considers the mechanisms and effects of political mobilization within the political system in force then and against the background, the essential features of which involve the selection and operations of the political leadership. The chapter provides those aspects of the sociopolitical crises of 1980-1981 that are directly related to the operation of the party system and analyze the new processes of political mobilization and selection of leadership groups in that period. It outlines the direction of the essential political reforms of 1982-1983 in regard to the operation of the party system, the mechanisms of political involvement, and the selection of leadership groups.