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Title: Spring in summer : strikes, austerity and solidarity in Poland (July-August 1980)
Author: Harris, Graham
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis provides a new account of the strikes in Poland between July and August 1980 that led to the formation of Solidarność (Solidarity), the first ‘independent, self-governing trade union’ to exist under Communism. Although primarily focussed on the role of civil resistance in Poland, as the first stand-alone account of the strikes to appear in English since the mid-1980s, this thesis has a number of innovations. Firstly, it provides a day-by-day account of the August strikes which seeks to emphasise the immediacy, uncertainty and complexity of events from the perspective of both domestic and international actors. Secondly, with the existing literature dominated by the superpower responses, it integrates Eastern Bloc and West European responses into events. Thirdly, the previously unexplored role of Poland’s negotiations with Western commercial banks during the summer is also discussed. These along with Poland’s economic ‘crisis’ are seen as being of equal importance to the non-violent ‘breakthrough’ achieved by Polish workers in shaping the outcome of events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available