During the first four years of post-communist transformations (1989-1992), despite intense opposition, the basic features of the Balcerowicz economic plan remained unchanged. One main reason the plan's opponents failed to defeat it was the decoupling of central and local political fields, which shielded local communes from the volatility of central politics where the criticisms of the government's economic policies were most eloquently articulated. Left partially to their own devices, some communes fared better under new conditions than others. The reasons for this differential economic revival are to be found in the differences of: (1) political cultures (“revolutionaries” versus “reformists”) revealed in voting patterns; (2) historical and cultural traditions, and (3) “civicness.” The empirical material to test these theses comes from the author's own fieldwork in Cieszyn Silesia, Poland.

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