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International regimes and credibility problems: An assessment of the role played by the EU in locking in Polish trade policy reform.

Golonka, Marta Magdalena (2003) International regimes and credibility problems: An assessment of the role played by the EU in locking in Polish trade policy reform. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The developments in trade and political relations between Poland and the European Union during the period of association is used to conduct an analysis of policy-making in transition and an investigation into the relationship between economic reform and social/ political factors, on both national and international levels. Internal and external impediments to policy reform are discussed, with emphasis on issues of credibility and reciprocity in inter- state cooperation, as well as domestic path- dependencies, legacies, political cultures and social pre-dispositions. The focus is on the role of international leverage in affecting domestic change and stabilising reform. Drawing on the complexity of multiple disciplines, the author challenges the main neoliberal institutionalist assumptions about 'anchoring' policies in international regimes to increase their credibility. By assessing the effectiveness of the Europe Agreement as an 'anchor' for Polish trade policy and a supportive instrument for the transition, the author argues that, in contrast to neoliberal expectations, an international regime, can, if it does not fulfill certain conditions, impede reform, reducing its viability and long-term sustainability. Because the EU has failed to carry through its declared promises of assistance for the transition or consistently pursue the liberal policies advocated to Poland as a condition for association, it has, collectively, fallen short of fulfilling these conditions. In addition, the technocratic, elitist style of decision-making necessary for the fulfilment of the EU's compulsory targets, combined with rigid conditionality and an institutional framework for association not adapted to national particularities, have, in the Polish case, multiplied domestic policy dilemmas, undermining the credibility of the liberal reforms initially pursued, and ultimately weakening the capacity of the 'state' to provide the public goods necessary for the consolidation and institutionalisation of the systemic changes. Finally, the author asserts that the fundamental legitimisation dimension has been neglected in the policy debate over the Polish transformation. Accordingly, the thesis investigates the evolution of the state/societal relationship in Poland, as it emerges in response to external and internal developments, and analyses the Polish specificities that have made the consolidation of a market-democracy problematic.

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

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