Continuity within chaos : the role of political discourse in the rebuilding of Communist Party legitimation in Poland, 1988-90
This thesis deals with the ways in which the Polish United Workers' Party's (PZPR) political discourse and its modes of political legitimation changed during the period of the transformation of the political system in Poland between 1988 and 1990. The central hypothesis is that the PZPR retained a strong series of discursive continuities during this period, although partially reconstructed its discourses along three main axes: Civil -Public/Private, Geopolitical - West/East and Historical - Past/Present. Each element emerged out of the PZPR's existing discourses and simultaneously transformed both them and the PZPR's position within them. Thus one saw the emergence of an autonomous, semi de-institutionalised Communist Party, which became tied by its discursive commitments to an evolving political agreement following the 1989 round table talks that it was unable to reverse or oppose. The thesis adopts a historical case study approach in which changes in PZPR discourses are analysed over four periods.