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Western policy-making in the Polish crisis (1980-83): The problem of coordination.

Sjursen, Helene (1997) Western policy-making in the Polish crisis (1980-83): The problem of coordination. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Western states responded to the Polish crisis (1980-83), both severally and collectively, with particular reference to their capacity for coordinated action. The thesis concentrates on the interaction between the major Western states (France, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States) inside the broader Western institutional framework (looking in particular at NATO, the European Community, European Political Cooperation and CoCom). It assesses the impact and relative importance of the various Western institutional networks and of longer term conflicting Western aims in Poland for the success and failure of coordination. It also analyses the relevance of wider transatlantic disputes over detente for coordination. It is argued that the domestic Polish crisis gradually spilled over into East-West and West-West relations, ultimately triggering one of the most serious crises in the history of the Western alliance. The thesis is different from that of other studies of international crises in that most such studies concentrate on relations between governments who identify each other as "enemies", whereas the main concern here is with relations within one "enemy camp". Highlighting the political and economic, as well as security dimensions to the crisis, the thesis also shows that the Western states were faced with a more complex problem than a classic foreign policy crisis. Finally, the complexity of the issues raised as a result of the Polish crisis meant that the Western states were faced not only with the problem of reconciling different and sometimes conflicting national objectives, but also with the need to reconcile contradictory economic, political and security concerns cutting across national borders. Against this backdrop the thesis argues that the problem of coordination is more complex than what is implied by the neo-realist and neo-liberal institutionalist perspectives, and that the success and failure of coordination rests with the individual states, navigating within the constraints of domestic politics, alliance politics and international [in this case East-West] relations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, East European Studies, History, European
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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