THE MADDENING FREquency with which Polish politics plunges into periods of crisis has perplexed even the most seasoned observers of post-communist Poland and exasperated the Poles themselves. Still, reform continues - not because of the Polish political process but in spite of it. A case in point is the recent struggle between President Lech Walesa and the coalition government over filling key cabinet posts. The political tug-of-war over which institution - president or government - should have the decisive voice in making the appointments began in October 1994 and only reached a conclusion in March. Because the defense and foreign ministries were drawn into the political fray, concern arose both at home and abroad over whether the political conflict heralded a fundamental change in Polish foreign and security policy. Given the sensitivity of the cabinet positions at stake, it seemed axiomatic that the conflict would have serious ramifications. Appearances, however, are at their most deceiving in post-communist Polish politics.

You have reached a premium content area of TOL. To read this entire article please login if you are already a TOL subscriber.

Not a subscriber?

Annual membership costs only $55 per year for individuals ($33 for students) and organizational subscriptions start at $141 per year.

Subscribe today for access to:
Full access to the website, including premium articles videos, country reports and searchable archives (containing over 25,000 articles).

You can subscribe here to gain access to the entire website.