By all accounts, the case of Poland and its segue to market economy and democracy is a success story: 30 years of uninterrupted growth and development, infrastructure expansion, and modernization of the economy and society. Epochal changes have unfolded in a timespan of merely three decades. Change has taken place so fast that children born in late 1980s and onwards cannot remember what life in Poland under communism was like and cannot relate to it. Also, many elderly people, easy victims of romanticizing their own youth, tend to forget. As a result, the uniqueness of Polish transition and transformation, the boldness and efficiency of reforms, and the success that Polish society mastered together, tend to be undermined today both domestically and internationally.
Poland has now been a member of the EU for more than 15 years. During that time, Poland's image on the EU scene evolved from newcomer, through 'model child', champion of growth, to - in some respects - a maverick. This volume's objective is to remind society, old and young, researchers, scholars and practitioners, that Poland's success is an outcome of well-thought out and bold structural reforms implemented in a swift and timely manner, of society's support for these reforms, and of third actors' benign assistance. Looking back on the 30 years since the collapse of communism, and at the over 15 years of EU membership, this book offers an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and critical insight into factors and processes that have led to today's Poland.