Democratic government in Poland : constitutional politics since 1989 /
George Sanford.
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave, c2002.
xix, 256 p. ; 23 cm.
0333774752 (cloth)
More Details
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave, c2002.
0333774752 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
George Sanford is a Reader in Politics at Bristol University where he has taught since 1966.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-09-01:
Written by a prominent English specialist on Polish politics and based on an exhaustive Polish and English bibliography, this book presents in great detail the development of the postcommunist constitutional framework of the Polish political system. An excellent summary of Polish historical and interwar constitutionalism is followed by a discussion of the limited stability of parliamentary developments during the late communist era. Sanford then shows the gradual and hesitant development of constitutionalism, and parliamentarianism in particular, as Poland was regaining its sovereignty. Although emphasis is on the development of the legal structure, every step is portrayed within the context of domestic and foreign political changes. Readers are also continually informed about the social (less about the economic) context of these changes: the personalities and their sociopolitical backgrounds, who played the crucial roles, the emergence of well-defined political parties with specific interests and ideologies, and how these began to overshadow the individual leaders from the earlier, more heroic era of struggle for a legal and democratic framework of politics. An excellent book for undergraduates, graduates, scholars, and anyone seriously interested in Poland or historical constitutional developments anywhere. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers and upper-division undergraduates and above. L. K. D. Kristof emeritus, Portland State University
Review Quotes
"An excellent book for undergraduates, graduates, scholars, and anyone seriously interested in Poland..."--L.K.D. Kristof, Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2003
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Description for Bookstore
Democratic government has now been entrenched in Poland. An increasingly significant European actor, Poland presents problematic but also stimulating challenges to new NATO and EU associates. This authoritative overview examines in depth the constitutional and governmental framework in Poland since 1989 and its central political institutions, mechanisms, and actors. Sanford demonstrates how the governmental system evolved pragmatically during the 1990s to cope with modernization and consolidated viable independent statehood consensually around Poland's hardy constitutional values.
Table of Contents
List of Tablesp. vii
List of Abbreviationsp. viii
Prefacep. xiii
Chronologyp. xv
The Constitution and Historyp. 1
Poland's quest for security and modernizationp. 1
Historical traditions and constitutional valuesp. 4
The effects of foreign rule and war on state institutionsp. 10
Constitutions and political frameworksp. 11
The usable past of Polish constitutionalismp. 15
The Communist Experience and Legacyp. 24
The debate on the Polish People's Republicp. 24
The communist party-state in Polandp. 27
The significance of communist constitutionalismp. 31
Judgement on the PRL (Polish People's Republic)p. 39
Democratic Transition and Consolidationp. 50
The constitutional abdication of communismp. 50
The controlled transition in practicep. 56
The consolidation of democracyp. 60
Constitution Making and Consensus Buildingp. 74
National sovereignty and citizenshipp. 74
Constitutional engineering and institution buildingp. 76
The politics of the temporary: writing the Little Constitutionp. 80
Towards the 1997 constitutionp. 85
The April 1997 constitutionp. 91
Parliament and Democratic Politicsp. 103
Organization, functioning and composition of the Sejmp. 105
Deputiesp. 110
Legislationp. 115
Debates and plenary sessionsp. 120
Committeesp. 120
Parliamentary control of governmentp. 123
Organization, functioning and composition of the Senatep. 124
Rationalized parliamentarianism?p. 128
The Executive: Dual or Fragmented?p. 138
The presidencyp. 138
Formation, dismissal and accountability of governmentsp. 147
The Council of Ministersp. 151
The emergence of the prime ministerp. 155
Mechanisms of coalition governmentp. 157
From Office of the Council of Ministers (URM) to cabinet officep. 162
Ministriesp. 164
What sort of executive in Poland?p. 166
Government and the Mechanisms of Representationp. 173
Electoral frameworkp. 173
Presidential electionsp. 176
Sejm electionsp. 183
Senate electionsp. 188
Local government electionsp. 188
Dynamics and political consequences of voting behaviourp. 190
Party system and governmentp. 192
The Active Constitution in Practicep. 208
The constitutional and state tribunalsp. 208
Organs of state control and rights protectionp. 216
The Lustration Act and processp. 219
Conclusion: the Polish Constitution as a Framework for Democracyp. 230
Bibliographyp. 236
Indexp. 247
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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