The paper is an attempt to analyse Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), the biggest political coalition in Poland, in the context of the historical development of the Solidarity movement. In particular, two aspects are considered: the value system of the “old” and “new” Solidarity, and the relative importance of the trade union and political goals and modes of activity. The basic hypothesis advanced in the paper is, that the AWS is an attempt to institutionalise trade union control over the political party in the name of clearly defined values. Thus, compared with the “first Solidarity”, the movement has become both more exclusive and more focused in its goals. Values and interests converge in defining its new identity. The paper distinguishes three stages in the existence of the movement (1980–81, 1988–89, and 1996–98) and investigates all three of them. The stress, however, is put on the last of the three.

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