Authors Archives: Michal Kozlowski

What makes Poland a post-communist country?

To a western ear there is presumably nothing ambiguous about the term post-communism. It seems to be merely descriptive, referring to the realities of countries which only 20 years ago lived under the political and socio-economical system known as ‘real socialism’. In the last decades, those countries are believed to have been undergoing the process of structural social, economic and political change, usually referred to as ‘transition’. At first glance, one can see that both terms suffer from being too vast in order to provide a good ground for further investigation. They embrace very heterogeneous realities, histories and perspectives. What cognitive use can we make of a term such as post-communism, applicable both to Slovenia and Mongolia? Analogically, in what way can transition explain the dynamics of social processes in those states? But one could also argue that this kind of vagueness is (to some extent) ineluctable in the description of social realities.

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