Europe, Institutional reforms, Poland, CASE Reports, reforms, transition

Understanding Reform: The Case of Poland


The last twenty years have seen a perhaps unprecedented level of economic and political reform on a global scale. It is our hope that with this report we have made some contribution to the understanding of the factors underlying the success of reforms as well as the dangers that face reformers and reforms. We should note that in discussing the success of reforms, and the factors underlying that success, we have defined success not only in terms of the degree to which the reformers’ goals were accomplished by the reforms, but also in terms of the ability of reformers to gain the acceptance among legislators and the general populace necessary for the implementation of reforms. We have been interested not only in what makes a reform “good” in a technical sense, but also in what makes it implementable and sustainable. Thus, we hope that we have not only deepened the understanding of the Polish experience in the years since 1989, but also provided some insights which may be of use for other reform efforts in other countries, perhaps in very different parts of the globe.