This article explores the background of social engineering in the Bieszczady in the 1950s and 1960s, when a revolutionary political leadership ventured to impose a new socialist order in an area ravaged by war and ethnic cleansing. The article addresses two questions: first, what were the conditions that resulted in the failure of socialist engineering in the Bieszczady, and second, what were the consequences of this failure for relationships at the local level? One thesis put forward is that the relative weakness of the Polish state vis-à-vis the local setting left plenty of room for local residents to develop a dynamic social order of their own.

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