Catalogue


Public opinion and political change in Poland, 1980-1982 /
David S. Mason.
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c1985.
description
xii, 275 p. --
ISBN
0521307988
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c1985.
isbn
0521307988
catalogue key
3297811
 
Bibliography: p. 253-263.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-10:
Mason (political science, Butler), provides a detailed and thoughtful interpretation of numerous public opinion polls conducted between 1980 and 1982 by Polish universities, periodicals, and the independent trade union, Solidarity-polls subject to little central supervision or censorship. While earlier public opinion research by Polish sociologists indicated that most Poles supported socialism and approved of Communist Party efforts to reduce social class differences and expand social and occupational mobility, it also indicated that citizens were dissatisfied with their economic plight and deteriorating standard of living coupled with rising expectations. Polls taken during 1980 indicated a widespread demand for greater popular participation in economic and political decision-making and, concurrently, restricting the decision-making role of the Communist Party. Even Party members voiced objections to overcentralization of Party functions. Solidarity, the remarkable trade union, independent of Party and government links, harnessed the popular imagination and quickly established itself in 1980 as the mouthpiece for popular dissatisfaction. It served to focus public needs and demands until the regime clamped down in 1982 with the imposition of martial law. This book provides a wealth of useful information in an easily readable format, is carefully documented, and has an extensive bibliography. Highly recommended for all levels of readers.-J.P. Shapiro, Rockefeller Institute, SUNY
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1986
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Summaries
Main Description
This book draws on public opinion surveys conducted in Poland during the Solidarity era to examine popular attitudes on fundamental issues of political power and on the dramatic political events of 1980-1982. These surveys, unprecedented for a communist regime, offer a unique portrait of the values and attitudes of a population in a society undergoing profound social, economic and political change. The study focuses on the citizens, who are often overlooked in studies of communist systems. As such, it provides a fresh look at the Solidarity experience from the public's point of view. It details the sources of support and opposition for the regime, the Solidarity leadership, and the policies of each. For example, support for Solidarity declined during 1981, but it remained strong, and there was little popular support for the hardline measures employed by the regime.
Description for Bookstore
This book draws on public opinion surveys conducted in Poland during the Solidarity era to examine popular attitudes on fundamental issues of political power and on the dramatic political events of 1980-1982. These surveys, unprecedented for a communist regime, offer a unique portrait of the values and attitudes of a population in a society undergoing profound social, economic and political change.
Main Description
This book deals with the importance of public opinion in Poland at the time of the rise of Solidarity and the workers' movement, when opinion polling and freedom of political debate were at their height. Dr Mason's analysis is based on the most open and revealing opinion polls ever to issue from a communist country, polls conducted by the government, the universities and Solidarity itself on fundamental political issues - the nature of the socialist state, the role of the party, popular confidence in Solidarity, the church and the regime. The lack of information about public attitudes is perhaps the major weakness of all studies of communist regimes. Dr Mason's data provide important insights into relations between the rulers and the ruled, and provide the opportunity of balancing the contentions of traditional elites with more objective data from 'below'.
Table of Contents
List of tables
Preface
Introduction: public opinion and politics
Public opinion research and politics
The public and policy change in the 1970s
Values of Polish society on the eve of August
1980: causes and results
The rise and fall of Solidarity
The Party and 'renewal'
Solidarity and the regime at the end of 1981
Martial law as a response and the response to martial law
Conclusions
Appendix
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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