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40 Program on Central and Eastern Europe

Elite Circulation & Consolidation of Democracy in Poland

1997 – Jacek Wasilewski


The paper examines two aspects of democratic consolidation-institution building and value consensus through analysis of the old and new elites in Poland. It argues that although Polish democracy is established and working, it has not been fully consolidated. Poland represents the case of a ·shallow consolidation," i.e., all elements constituting a consolidated democratic regime are in place, but relations among them do not form a coherent structure typical of mature democracies.