This article investigates the extent of continuity and discontinuity of the original political, economic, and foreign policy value orientations of Russian and Polish post-Communist elites. I conclude that during the post-Communist period the Russian elite shifted the priorities from pro-democratic to authoritarian positions, engaged in a debate over the most desirable foreign policy course, and ultimately chose a pragmatically independent direction, but remained loyal to original beliefs in the free market. In Poland, with its cyclical rotation of governments, original pro-democratic and pro-Western elite value orientations survive to this day, while the issue of preferred economic model is contested and highly sensitive to electoral cycles.

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