Public Relations in an Economy and Society in Transition

The Case of Poland

Authored by: Ryszard Ławniczak , Waldemar Rydzak , Jacek Trębecki

The Global Public Relations Handbook

Print publication date:  January  2009
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415995139
eBook ISBN: 9780203889374
Adobe ISBN: 9781135845551


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Since 1989, the Central European country of Poland has been undergoing a political shift toward democracy and an economic transition from a command economy to a market economy. Several features distinguish Poland from the region’s other transition economies. First, only those of Russia and the Ukraine exceed Poland’s vast area and population. Second, the process of building democracy in Poland began as early as 1956, a process that was supported by the strong Polish Catholic Church, which operated with varying degrees of intensity throughout the period of Poland’s socialist economy. Third, Poland’s has had a relatively strong private agricultural sector since World War II, with private farmers holding approximately 85% of the country’s total farmland. Fourth, private business ownership in the trade, crafts, and service sectors gained significance after 1956. Finally, Poland has a historic role as a pioneer of transformation including applying shock therapy—the process of radical transitioning from a centrally planned economy to one dictated by market forces.

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