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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Collective Action Problems of Political Consolidation: Evidence from Poland


The 1989 Eastern European revolutions produced systematic failures in which various social, economic, and political players to coordinate on mutually beneficial solutions. The old institutional grid--political, economic, and social--was destroyed and the new institutions were still in the making. The collective action problems born in this institutional vacuum contributed to political instability, economic under-performance, and social inefficiencies. This paper examines the cooperation and lack of cooperation among Polish political parties in the 1990s as examples of the failure to reach agreement among political actors.

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