It is widely assumed that the post-socialist transformation started in Poland. This is true, but only in part. Although it was indeed in Poland that various processes contributing to this dramatic change gained the greatest momentum in the 1980s, things were not at a standstill in other countries of central and eastern Europe, either. Another widespread assumption is that the post-socialist transformation was set in motion in 1989, when—first in Poland and then, through a chain reaction engulfing the entire region—‘real socialism collapsed’ or, as others would prefer to put it, ‘communism was defeated’. There is no doubt that later in many respects Poland has handled the challenges of the great transformation better than other countries. Hence, after already over 15 years of ongoing post-socialist transformation toward democratic polity, market economy and civil society, there must be certain lessons the other countries, especially the so-called emerging markets, can learn from the Polish experience. Hence it is worth having a closer look at what works and why and what does not work and whyŒ

This content is only available via PDF.