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Poles Together?
The Emergence and Development of Political Parties
in Post-Communist Poland

Aleks Szczerbiak,
Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex

This book fills a gap in the existing literature on how parties and party systems are developing in the new democracies of post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe. It provides the first detailed, empirically based examination from a structural and organizational perspective of the new parties and political groupings that have emerged in Poland since the collapse of Communism in 1989.

The author develops his argument on the basis of an analysis of five key structural and organizational variables: the internal distribution of power and modes of representation within the parties; the role of the party bureaucracy; the relationship between parties and their electorates; the development of parties as membership organizations; and the relationship between parties and the state.

As the first in-depth, empirically grounded single-country study of party structure and organization in post-Communist Eastern Europe, the book provides an opportunity to draw broader conclusions about the process of Central and East European party development and will contribute significantly towards the development of a post-Communist political party model. Szczerbiak sheds light on an important aspect of the more general process of post-communist democratization in the region and provides a major contribution to one of the least-explored areas of transition.

"Although Aleks Szczerbiak's book is a single country study, its breadth and depth of coverage and scholarly sophistication make it of a wider interest for anyone concerned with the subject not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in other (emerging) democratic political systems." - Party Politics

"Szczerbiak's critical assessment of the usefulness of mainstream party literature in the Polish context places his work above and beyond the many books and articles whose authors labour bending the post-communist political reality to fit more or less elaborate foreign constructs... He managed to get to quite extraordinary sources." - Europe-Asia Studies

300 pages
ISBN 978-963-9241-23-7 cloth $49.95 / €42.95 / 29.95
ISBN 978-963-9241-35-0 paperback $21.95 / €19.95 / 17.99