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Publikation: Florian Peters

Florian Peters: „Rette sich, wer kann!“ Die wirtschaftlichen Reformanläufe der polnischen Kommunisten in den 1980er-Jahren, in: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung, 2020, S. 105-119.

This paper traces the contradictory evolution of Polish communists' approaches to economic reform during the 1980s and situates them in the context of the turbulent social and political dynamics of the decade.
More specifically, it analyses how reform debates, which had shared the common ground of market socialism in face of the challenge by Solidarity in 1980–1981, shifted towards the idea of transition to authoritarian capitalism in the second half of the 1980s. It scrutinises whether (and by whom) the promise of individual economic freedom was seen as a first step towards democracy, or rather as its substitute, and assesses in how far Polish reform policies were rightly considered »socialist Thatcherism« by contemporary Moscow analysts. In doing so, the paper sheds light on the impact of the piecemeal economic reforms implemented by the last communist governments on the subsequent transition to capitalism and contributes to the growing body of research into the political and discursive preconditions of the 1989 neoliberal shock therapy.