Poland's Transition To A Post Socialist Society

3042 words - 12 pages

Poland's Economic Transition Into a Post-Socialist SocietyI. IntroductionPoland has gone through major changes during its history, mostly against its will. The nation was removed from the European map from 1795 to 1918 by the former European empires. It then reemerged at the end of the First World War, for only 20 years. Then, it disappeared once more from 1939 to 1945 due to the German invasion in Word War II. When it re-emerged, national freedom was again cut short only after 54 months after the State fell under Soviet rule, once more against its own national will. Transition from the Soviet-influenced economy in Poland takes place in unique geographic circumstances. During the Cold War, the Polish Communist Party, known as the Polish United Worker's Party, governed Poland. After the fall of the Soviets in 1989, the goal was to shift the nation to both a market-oriented economy and a democratic state. With the decline of Soviet influence, the Polish landscape flourished. The geographic circumstances that reinforced transition from the former state of occupation include certain environmental conditions, demographics of a country, political system focused on decentralization, allocation of resources, and spatial organization of economy. All the elements stated above adjust paths of change and are being influenced by ongoing theory. The objective of this article is to present the most important aspects of political and economic transformation in Poland's geographic space.Poland-area: 312,679 sq. km; population: 38.5 million (2013); located on the Baltic Sea (524 km long coastline), bordering with the Kaliningrad region of Russia, and with Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in the east, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south, and Germany in the west. Poland is divided into 16 voivodeships (provinces) and about 2479 gminas (municipalities).The country is about 50% arable and 33% is forested. Agriculture is mostly privately run even during the Communist years. Agriculture accounted for roughly 15% GNP of Poland and occupies 25% of the work force. The major crops in Poland are rye, potatoes, beets, and wheat. Poland is rich in natural resources. The minerals include coal, sulfur, copper, lead, and zinc. The major industries include machinery, iron and steel, chemicals.II. Political GeographyCommunist ideological principles shaped the economic and political visions of Poland's futures. The political space was centralized and can be classified as a homogenous one. Under the communist regime, the "classless" society functioned within a unified framework of political and economic rules regardless of the differences among Polish regions as well as between urban and rural areas. Drastic changes were needed after the Soviet collapse in 1989. As a response to social and economic crisis, decentralization was a very promising mechanism to implement a search for alternative forms of distribution of power and resource allocation. It was assumed that alternative...

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