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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Political stability and political culture : a comparative study of the USSR and Poland Skrobacki, Waldemar Andrzej


This study is a comparative analysis of the political stability of Poland and the USSR. These two countries, very similar in many respects, are at the same time fundamentally different in terms of political stability. On the one side, there is the Soviet Union—one of the most politically stable countries in the contemporary world. On the other side, there is Poland, which periodically experiences systemic political crises. Despite institutional similarities, it is hard to imagine two more different countries in terms of political stability. The main argument of this case study is that stability, a very complex problem, depends largely on internal conditions. One of the most important of these conditions is political culture. This concept is defined as the political values, beliefs, expectations, knowledge, and patterns of behavior characteristic of the society. This study compares the official and dominant political cultures of Poland and the Soviet Union. The main argument is that the congruence between the official and the dominant political culture explains much of the stability of the USSR. In the case of Poland, the lack of congruence contributes to systemic political instability.

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