Do leaders make a differenceŒ Do they actually leadŒ There is a rich body of theoretical literature in which one can find many different responses.1 The question can be dealt with on the level of the philosophy of history as well as on the basis of empirical political sociology. The present paper takes the second road. Using data from the behavioral research conducted in Poland since 1966,1 particularly from the four studies conducted since the beginning of democratic reforms, I shall try to illustrate the importance of reformist leadership in Poland’s local politics.
Polishlocal elites and democratic change, 1990–2002
Professor Emeritus of the University of Warsaw is currently director of the Centre for Sociological-Political Studies, Baltic Higher College of Humanities in Koszalin, President of the Central European Political Science Association and editor-in-chief of the Polish socialdemocratic quarterly Mysl Socjaldemokratyczna. He served in PolishParliament, 1991–2001 and was Poland’s Minister of Education, 1996–1997.
The Polish studies on local leadership have been conducted under my directorship by the research team composed of political sociologists from the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, PolishAcademy of Sciences with Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania and Krzysztof Ostrowski as my principal collaborators and co-authors. The studies began in 1966, originally as part of the International Studies on Values and Politics (ISViP) originated by Philip E. Jacob (1912–1984), political science professor at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Hawaii. In the first study, four countries were included: India, Poland, the United States and Yugoslavia. Results were published in Jacob et al. (1971).
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Jerzy J. Wiatr; Polishlocal elites and democratic change, 1990–2002. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2003; 36 (3): 373–383. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-067X(03)00044-8
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