Civil Society in Poland

CIVIL SOCIETY IN POLAND
Case study Research design: Grzegorz Ekiert, Jan Kubik Polish study preparation and supervision: Jan Kubik and Michal Wenzel Report: Michal Wenzel and Jan Kubik Prepared for international conference The Logic of Civil Society in New Democracies: East Asia and East Europe Taipei, June 5-7
1. Periodization of the transformation years……………………………………………………………… 2 Politics…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 The economy ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 Civil society and the state…………………………………………………………………………………………. 6 International constraints …………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 How people see it: evaluation of current situation 1989-2009……………………………………….. 8 2. Protest events during transformation ………………………………………………………………….. 10 Organizers ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11 Protesting groups…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12 Methods……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 Demands………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16 Size of protest events……………………………………………………………………………………………… 18 Intervention by the authorities…………………………………………………………………………………. 19 3. Indicators of civil society: other data …………………………………………………………………… 21 Protest activities ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21 Activity in organizations ………………………………………………………………………………………… 22 Community service ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25 Membership in trade unions……………………………………………………………………………………. 25 Trust ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27 4. Summary and conclusions………………………………………………………………………………….. 29

1

1. Periodization of the transformation years
The Polish transformation commenced with the Round Table negotiations between the Communist government and oppositional Solidarity movement in the early 1989. As a result of these negotiations, semi-free elections to Parliament were held on June 4, 1989. Although the electoral law guaranteed the Communist Party (Polish United Workers??™ Party) and its allies the majority and thus the prerogative to form the government, the magnitude of the opposition victory and the subsequent defections of two minor partners from the government camp opened the way for the formation of the first non-communist government in the East Central Europe since the 1940s. The government, led by Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a long-time Solidarity activist, was sworn in on August 24, 1989. It introduced deep systemic reforms in virtually all areas of public life. Arguably, the most important was the comprehensive economic reform that went down in history as the Balcerowicz Plan (from the name of its chief architect, then the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance). The 1989/90 period is a turning in Polish history in all areas of social life, including economy, politics, and culture.

Politics In politics, the transformation years can be characterized, first and foremost, by the pronounced volatility of the party system. In the years 1989-2009, only one party (PSL, Peasant Party) participated in all parliaments. This does not mean, however, that the party system was formed anew each time the elections were held. Rather, new parties were reconfigurations of the old ones, with ???old??? politicians creating new structures out of fragments of groupings that had disappeared from the political scene. Two dominant ???streams??? may be distinguished, i.e. two sets of parties that shared broadly defined ideological similarities albeit within constantly evolving organizational reconfigurations. The parties that originated from the Solidarity social movement-trade union constitute the first group. In the first semi-free elections in 1989, the opposition ran as Citizens??™ Committee, a broad movement that had its cells practically in all municipalities and communities of the country. It took all freely contested seats except one, i.e. one-third of Sejm (where the bulk of the legislative power resides), and 99 out of 100 in Senate (which has an oversight function). It was led by Lech Walesa and composed of opposition activists of all ideological orientations (from socialist to Christian Democratic to nationalist) and trade unionists. Already in 1990, this loose movement began dividing into different factions: socialdemocratic, liberal, and Christian-National. Soon, they gave rise to political parties that subsequently merged, changed names, and sometimes disappeared. Interestingly, the leaders of each faction from the early 1990s, still play leading roles both in the main government party (PO, Citizens??™ Platform) and the largest opposition party (PiS, Law and Justice). The second ???stream,??? much more stable, comprises the parties that descended from the disbanded Polish United Workers??™ Party (Communist). After its dissolution in January 1990, initially two successor parties were formed, but only one survived. It gained power (in a coalition with the ???peasant??? party, PSL) in 1993, lost in 1997, regained control over the government again in 2001, lost in 2005 and entered a period of serious organizational and ideological crisis. After the initial defeat (1989), already in 1991 the regrouped party (now 2

SdRP ??“ Social-democracy of the Polish Republic) formed a left-leaning coalition with the excommunist trade unions (OPZZ) and various civic organizations. The coalition, the Alliance of the Democratic Left (SLD), became a unitary party, under the same name, in 1999. As of May 2009, it is a minor opposition party experiencing a serious crisis. Apart from these two dominant ???streams,??? two peasant parties are major political players. Polish Peasant Party (PSL), claiming a distinguished political lineage going back to 1903, is the party that descends directly from the Communists??™ official coalition partner during the Polish People??™s Republic (1944-1989). Samoobrona (Self-defense) is a populist radical protest party formed in the mid-1990s. It was in government in 2005-2007, but now is hardly surviving after a series of personal and political scandals. Essentially, two sub-periods can be delineated in the post-communist Polish politics: 19892001 was characterized by the instability of the party scene, with new entrants emerging at each electoral cycle. In 2001-2009, the party system began stabilizing. Several parties left the political stage, but no new entrants appeared. This, among other reasons, is due to new laws regulating the financing of political parties. It is important to note that without exception the party in power always lost the elections. In brief, the periodization of the party scene can be summarized in two points: ??? 1989-2001 Instability of the party scene ??? 2001-2009 Consolidation: no new entrants

Names of parties in Table 1: KO ???S??™ ??“ Solidarity Civic Committee, anti-communist opposition KL-D – Liberal-Democratic Congress, liberal PC ??“ Center Alliance, right-wing PSL ??“ Peasant Party UW ??“ Union of Freedom, liberal SLD ??“ Alliance of the Democratic Left, post-communist left-wing SRP ??“ Social-democracy of the Polish Republic, post-communist left-wing UP ??“ Union of Labor, left-wing AWS ??“ Solidarity Electoral Alliance, coalition of Solidarity Trade Union and right-wing parties PiS ??“ Law and Justice, nationalist right Samoobrona ??“ self-defense, populist peasant LPR ??“ League of Polish Families, national Catholic PO ??“ Civic Platform ??“ centre-right

3

Table 1.
Parliament Year 1989 1990 1991 I 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 VI V IV III AWS-UW, later AWS only centre-right postSolidarity SLD-UP-PSL, later SLD-UP only post- communistpeasant party PiS-Samoobrona-LPR National-populist PO-PSL liberal-peasant party Marek Belka (SLD) Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski (PiS) Donald Tusk (PO) 2 V 2004 31 X 2005 14 VII 2006 16 XI 2007 31 X 2005 14 VII 2006 16 XI 2007 Lech Kaczynski right-wing Leszek Miller (SLD) 19 X 2001 2 V 2004 Jerzy Buzek (AWS) 31 X 1997 19 X 2001 Aleksander Kwasniewski left-wing II Parl. term IX Coalition Solidarity with Communist ministers and with Comm. Allies right wing Solidarity centre-right Solidarity SRP-PSL, postcommunist-peasant Party Jozef Oleksy (SLD) Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz (SLD) 7 III 1995 7 II 1996 7 II 1996 31 X 1997 Jan Krzysztof Bielecki (KL-D) Jan Olszewski (PC) Hanna Suchocka (UW) Waldemar Pawlak (PSL) 4 I 1991 6 XII 1991 11 VII 1992 26 X 1993 6 XII 1991 5 VI 1992 25 X 1993 6 III 1995 Lech Walesa Solidarity Prime minister (party aff.*) Tadeusz Mazowiecki (KO ???S???) Government Start of term in office 24 VIII 1989 End of term 4 I 1991 Name Wojciech Jaruzelski President Polit. orient. Communist

4

The economy The end of Communism coincided with a severe economic crisis. The crisis dates back to the 1980s, when the deepening inefficiency of the state-socialist system led to serious market shortages. Popular dissatisfaction with the system, expressed increasingly vocally by all groups of the society, particularly the workers, led to the emergence of well-organized, transparent dissident movement and, eventually, Solidarity. This movement-cum-labor union emerged from the massive strikes of the summer 1980 and survived legally for over a year (August 1980 ??“ December 1981). During that time, the country experienced political and cultural liberalization, but the inefficient economy was not reformed. Solidarity was made illegal when Martial Law was declared on December 13, 1981, and its leaders were interned or arrested. The authorities attempted to introduce some market mechanisms after Martial Law was lifted in 1983, but these attempts were inconsistent and adversely affected by the international constraints, primarily by the Soviet requirement to comply with the principles of state socialism, although the selection of Michail Gorbachev as the Soviet leader began changing the political dynamic within the communist camp. The last Communist government introduced partial economic reform in 1988. It involved limited freedom of economic activity, permission to form companies with foreign capital, and lifting of many price controls. However, these moves led to hyperinflation and a high budget deficit. The truly revolutionary (so called ???shock therapy)??? systemic reforms were introduced at the beginning of 1990 in a package of legislative measures known as the Balcerowicz plan. They included: the introduction of equality between private and publicly-owned enterprises with regard to tariffs and credit, convertible currency, abolition of state monopoly of foreign trade, and the introduction of state support for the unemployed. Inflation continued to rise during the initial months of the reform period, but soon began to drop and market shortages ended. The initial negative results of the reform included: the general recession (remarkably short-lived, however: already in 1992 the GNP grew by 2.5%) and a fast rise in unemployment caused by the wave of bankruptcies by inefficient state enterprises. It is important to remember, however, that the magnitude of change in the labor market is not fully captured by the unemployment rate, because labor force shrank. The government introduced early retirement schemes, and made it easier to claim disability benefits, pushing marginal workforce out of the market. The mid-1990s brought stabilization on the labor market and fast economic growth that lasted until the global crisis of 2001-2002. Subsequent years brought another round of economic growth that slowed down in 2009 due to the present global crisis. So far the Polish economy avoided recession: on May 29, 2009 the figures for the first quarter of 2009 were announced: Polish economy grew during this period at the annualized rate of 0.8%.

5

FIG. 1.
30

20

Unemployment rate Annual GDP growth

10

0

-10

-20 ???89 ???90 ???91 ???92 ???93 ???94 ???95 ???96 ???97 ???98 ???99 ???00 ???01 ???02 ???03 ???04 ???05 ???06 ???07 ???08 ???09

Annual GDP growth (data of Central Statistical Office). Projections for 2009 vary Unemployment rate (Rounded. Pct. of economically active population. January results for each year. Data of Central Statistical Office)

The analysis of societal evaluations and macro-economic data reveals the existence of four distinct post-communist periods: ??? ??? ??? ??? 1989-1992 Transformation shock 1993-2000 Sustained growth 2001-2002 Crisis 2003-2008 Pre- and post-EU accession boom

Civil society and the state The crucial period in the establishment of the new order, both politically and economically, was the beginning of 1990. The government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki introduced the farreaching reform of local governments that constitute the basis of local public life. The basic unit of local government, gmina, was considerably empowered, assuming many governmental functions previously controlled by the central government. Its gmina council is elected in separate elections, it controls communal property, has its own revenue base, and it is free to structure its executive within limits set by law. In 1998, a second round of reform of local government was implemented. In addition to gmina, two more levels of local government were introduced: powiat (county) and wojewodztwo (province). They took over tasks (for instance in education and healthcare) formerly performed by the state institutions. At the same time as the second de-centralizing administrative reform was taking place, the state was re-organized in other respects as well. It was the so-called ???four reforms??? program of the center-right government in the years 1997-2001. The reforms were prepared in 1998 and implemented in 1999. They were designed to change: 6

-

healthcare: replacing the centralized state system with publicly funded but independent system of financing administration: decentralizing and creating additional levels of self-government pensions: replacing state pay-as-you-go pension system with a mixed system with part of the pension covered by individual pension funds with obligatory membership educational system: creating additional level of schooling and new types of schools

The permission to form NGOs became truly effective in mid-1989. Even within the framework of the old system at its final stage, civil society started to develop at a very fast pace. The freedom of association was restored in 1990. In 2003, a separate law regulating NGOs was passed, setting them apart from other types of organizations. They received certain additional prerogatives, such as employing volunteers. Each taxpayer can donate 1% of their tax bill to a specific NGO. In brief, the two key turning points in the de-centralization of the state and the introduction of freedom of association are: ??? ??? 1989-1990: Effective and legal freedom of association. Introduction of selfgovernment 1999: De-centralization reforms

International constraints

As far as international constraints are concerned, the transformation years were defined by the eventually project of entering the Western political, military and economic structures: NATO and the EU. The societal approval of membership in these two organizations has been consistently very high. During the first years of transformation, the Soviet (later Russian) forces were still stationed on the Polish territory. They finally left in 1993. Poland entered NATO in 1999. In early 1994 Poland signed an association treaty with the EU, which was the first step in negotiations leading to accession. The negotiations were completed in 2002, in 2003 referendum was held, and Poland entered the EU on May 1, 2004. On December 21, 2007 Poland entered also the Schengen zone, which allows trans-border movement among the member states without passport controls. The accession negotiations brought significant legal and institutional changes on many levels. In the years 2001-2003 Polish law had to be harmonized with European regulations. In many instances, this was done automatically, without public debate.

7

CBOS
FIG. 2. Attitude to Poland??™s membership in EU.
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
VI 1994 V 1995 V 1996 IV VIII 1997 V 1998 XII V II V IX III VII I V IX I V IX I IV 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 IX II V IX I IV 2005 2006 X I VII 2007 IV XI I IV 2008 2009

Supporters

Opponents Undecided

CBOS
FIG. 3. Attitude Poland??™s membership in NATO

Supporters X 2007 II 2009

Opponents

Dont know

78% 80%

11% 11%

11% 9%

Key dates: ??? ??? ??? ??? 1989: Independence 1994: Start of the EU accession negotiations 1999: NATO membership 2002-2004: Final stage of negotiations, referendum, EU membership

How people see it: evaluation of current situation 1989-2009 The longitudinal picture of people??™s evaluation of the twenty-year period of transformations completes the analysis of ???contextual??? data needed to frame our own results. There is no room here to discuss the factors that influence people??™s opinions, but it is prudent to remember that when people form an opinion about the current situation in their country, they consider not only economic conditions, but are also influenced by the political situation and the way it is (culturally) framed by various actors of the political scene, including the media.

8

As the data presented in Figure 4 demonstrate, satisfaction with the current situation matches economic cycle pretty closely for the years 1990-2001, but later the two become increasingly independent. The 2001-2008 sentiments seem more closely related to domestic political situation. In 2004-2005, the economic growth strongly influenced by the EU accession is not at all reflected in opinions. The 2005 elections brought optimism for a short time, but soon the evaluations returned to very low level in spite of very fast economic growth. Again, the 2007 elections changed that trend.

CBOS
FIG. 4. Evaluation of current situation in Poland (3-month moving average)
80% 70%

Bad
60% 50% 40%

Good
30% 20% 10% 0%
III I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Dont know

The following periods can be distinguished ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? 1990-1992 Disenchantment with changes 1993-1995 Gradual return of optimism 1996-1999 Sustained positive evaluations 1999-2001 Continuing slide 2002-2007 Crisis in the collective sense of well-being, with a brief return of hope in early 2006 2007-2008 Return of optimism, checked by the crisis

9

2. Protest events during transformation
Perhaps the most striking finding of our study is the fact that protest becomes more intense during good times. There is a strong correlation between the evaluation of current situation in a year and the number of protests: revolution/challenge is initiated when improvements are noted and a change seems to be within reach. The two periods with highest number of protests are 1989-93, when the society was (gradually less and less) enthusiastic about systemic transformation (though the macro-economic situation was improving), and the high-growth, low-unemployment 1996-1998 period. As Ekiert and Kubik observed in their earlier analyses (1999), Polish data strongly supports the rejection of theorizing inspired by the relative deprivation theory. Table 2
Year 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 42 31 19 25 25 31 39 44 41 30 24 20 21 24 24 27 28 32 40 Average pct. of positive evaluations of current situation No. of protests 313 307 292 308 256 260 185 308 236 368 185 277 146 230 162 187 good, high protest good, high protest bad, high protest bad, medium protest bad, medium protest good, low protest good, high protest good, medium protest good, high protest good, low protest bad, medium protest bad, low protest bad, medium protest bad, low protest bad, low protest

Correlation r=0,46 Protest intensity is related to the point in time (and the related stage of transformation), rather than the political orientation of government. In the first years of transformation, the monthly rate of protest was at its highest. In the 1994-2001 period, in which both the post-communist left and post-Solidarity right were in power, monthly rates were the same for both terms. After 2001, the rate fell (Table 3).

10

Table 3
Parl. term Government coalition Solidarity with Communist and Communist-allied ministers post-Solidarity right wing post-communist left wing right wing left wing No. of protests Total Per month 665 24.6 550 23.9 982 20.5 992 20.7 598 15.7

IX 1989 ??“ XI 1991 XII 1991 ??“ X 1993 XI 1993 ??“ X 1997 XI 1997 ??“ X 2001 XI 2001 ??“ X 2005

Organizers Trade unions were by far the most active organizers of protest events. The Solidarity Trade Union was the most involved and active union. The second most common category of events are spontaneous protests that have no clear organizational sponsor. Perhaps surprisingly, events organized by farmers??™ unions, which were well-publicized and became springboards for spectacular political careers (the Samoobrona leader Andrzej Lepper being the best example) were not numerous. In the years 1999-2004, the number of events organized by unions slowly declined, reaching a low point in 2004. Political parties, as protest organizers, also lost their importance. The rise in the number of events organized by professional associations in 1996-97 may be an indicator of the debates surrounding the impending reforms in the educational and medical fields. Table 4
Organizations leading or sponsoring the event Labor unions out of which: Solidarity Trade Union Domestic social movements Political parties Professional organizations Radical political movements Strike committees. employees councils Regional. local organizations Youth organizations Domestic alternative-culture Peasant/farmer organizations Ethnic or minority organizations Transnational advocacy networks Roman-Catholic Church Other churches or religious organizations Other None Data unavailable
N Pct. of cases

1751 775 312 260 239 216 158 130 125 85 48 34 32 25 4 252 504 949

43.5% 19.2% 9.3% 7.8% 7.1% 6.5% 4.7% 3.9% 3.7% 2.5% 1.4% 1.0% 1.0% .7% .1% 7.5% 15.1% 28.4%

11

FIG. 5. Organizations leading or sponsoring the event (no. of events)

Labor unions

Professional organizations

Political parties

Youth organizations

200

150

100

50

0 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Protesting groups Workers are by far the most common participants. Groups of neighbors and youth are relatively common categories as well. The analysis of the trends reveals notable covariance between waves of events staged by certain groups and stages of transformation. Events staged by workers rose in importance throughout the 1990s, but this trend ended in 1999-2000, and since then, the number has continued to fall. 2004 was the year with the second-lowest number of events with workers??™ participation. This is a reflection of the falling number of controversial privatization cases, and also, perhaps, the diminishing role of the government in managing the economy. The state has largely shed its role as owner and manager and restricted itself to the role of regulator. It seems that the workers have yet to learn how to organize in private enterprises and how to challenge private owners. Farmers were exceptionally active in the first years of the transformation, and again in 19972000. They were the first casualties of the ???shock therapy.??? State-owned farms went bankrupt at the beginning of the 1990s and their employees largely became redundant, their situation aggravated by residence in areas of very high unemployment. Private farmers also suffered due to very high interest rates. Loans became too expensive and many fell into debt trap. The 1998-2000 intensification of ???rural??? protest coincides with the turn-of-century crisis. It

12

brought into public life the radical-populist farmers??™ union and political party Samoobrona (Self-defense). Public sector employees and healthcare specialist were especially active in 1996-97. At that time, the early preparations for the 1998-99 reforms might have already played a role in mobilizing people and generating protest among the people who concluded that their basic interests were threatened.

Table 5 Protesting groups
workers neighborhood or local youth. students farmers transport health or welfare public sector (unspecified) service industries education or science arts or media employers. managers local govt. police or army retired or disabled women unemployed or homeless

N 1562 407 393 262 257 229 189 187 167 148 87 75 65 62 45 41

Percent of Cases 39.5% 10.3% 9.9% 6.6% 6.5% 5.8% 4.8% 4.7% 4.2% 3.7% 2.2% 1.9% 1.6% 1.6% 1.1% 1.0%

Table 6. Protesting groups (no. of events)
198 9 199 0 35 199 1 113 199 2 131 199 3 88 199 4 117 199 5 66 199 6 148 199 7 123 199 8 207 199 9 67 200 0 106 200 1 44 200 2 92 200 3 73 200 4 40 112

workers farmers service industries public sector health or welfare youth. students neighborho od or local

14 44 9 7 35 22

34 14 13 1 44 23

20 23 7 9 24 18

21 31 23 12 34 19

27 9 12 9 17 12

17 0 3 6 9 17

9 11 4 8 32 3

3 14 35 22 38 44

14 9 40 46 30 34

29 8 10 22 20 46

15 11 0 10 14 10

23 3 7 32 21 56

6 0 1 8 21 38

19 7 3 14 17 28

6 2 20 13 15 18

5 1 2 9 22 18

Marked: 30 or more protests by group in a year

13

Methods Demonstrations and open letters/appeals were the most common methods of protest in the years 1989-2004, followed by strikes and threats to undertake protest action (often so-called ???strike alerts???). Disruptive or violent methods (road blockades, occupations of buildings, riots, etc) were less common. Interestingly, strike as a method or protest was gradually losing its dominance: it was the most common method in 1989, but the 5th most frequently used method in 2004. Disruptive methods, such as occupations of public buildings and street riots, were comparatively common in early 1990s, but the frequency of this usage diminished in the later years. Street blockades were common in early 1990s and late 1990s, when farmers were active. Table 7 Methods of protest
Demonstration, march, rally Open letters, statements and appeals Strike Threat to undertake protest action Blockade of road, picket Symbolic manifestation Occupation of public buildings Hunger strikes Legal action Rallies. meetings in traditional gathering places Riots Boycotts Refusal to acknowledge legal decision Attack on property Use of force against management Confrontation

N 1294 1020 664 653 441 327 311 210 154 105 84 77 62 54 45 42

Percent of Cases 32.6% 25.7% 16.7% 16.4% 11.1% 8.2% 7.8% 5.3% 3.9% 2.6% 2.1% 1.9% 1.6% 1.4% 1.1% 1.1%

14

FIG. 6. Methods of protest (most common)

Strike
180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

Demonstration. march. rally

Open letters. appeals

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

FIG. 7. Methods of protest (less common)

Riots
60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Occupation of public buildings

Blockade of road. picket

Symbolic manifestation

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Public demonstrations are the most common method of protest for all major types of organizers. As far as industrial protest is concerned, strikes were employed in only one-fifth of union protests. Threats to undertake protest action were more common. Clearly, labor unions do not use industrial action recklessly.

15

Table 8. Methods of protest by type of organization leading or sponsoring (% of events)
Labor unions*
Demonstration, march, rally 30.4% Threat to undertake protest action 26.6% Strike 20.9% Open letters, statements and appeals 20.6% Blockade of road, picket 14.0%

Political parties
Demonstration, march, rally 59.6% Open letters, statements and appeals 23.5% Blockade of road, picket 14.6% Occupation of public buildings 9.2% Strike 8.5%

Youth organizations
Demonstration, march, rally 75.2% Open letters, statements and appeals 32.0% Threat to undertake protest action 8.0% Symbolic manifestation 8.0% Blockade of road, picket 7.2%

None (spontaneous events)
Demonstration, march, rally 34.4% Open letters, statements and appeals 25.3% Threat to undertake protest action 17.7% Strike 17.2% Blockade of road, picket 10.7%

*Data for years 1994-2004

Demands Economic demands were by far most frequent. Demands regarding change in policy on various levels, and demands for compensation were almost equally common. However, in a diachronic perspective, the frequency of economic demands declined. 2004 was the year with the fewest number of events involving economic demands, and they also constituted a relatively low proportion of all events that year. Only once was the proportion lower, but that was in 1998, the year with the highest recorded number of protest events.

Table 9. Demands
Change domestic economic policies Material compensation Change domestic policies General dissatisfaction with policies General economic demands Increased influence in decision making Change external/foreign policies Ecological demands Recognition of identity Abortion debate Problems of ethnic minorities Religious demands Other demands

N 920 860 762 391 303 140 128 121 60 48 36 26 840

Percent of Cases 22.8% 21.3% 18.9% 9.7% 7.5% 3.5% 3.2% 3.0% 1.5% 1.2% .9% .6% 20.8%

16

FIG. 8. Economic demands

200

No. of events with ec. dem. Material compens.

150

100

50

0 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

FIG. 9. Events with economic demands as pct. of all events in a year
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

The number of protest events during which economic demands were voiced is apparently unrelated to the economic condition of the country (as measured by major macro-economic indexes). It continued to decline over time, regardless of the ups and downs of the economic situation. Table 10.
Period 1989-1992 Transformation shock 1993-2000 Sustained growth 2001-2002 Crisis 2003-2004 Pre- and post-EU accession boom Average yearly no. of events with economic demands 148 108 83 61

17

The demand for a change in domestic policies peaked in the 1998, as did the dissatisfaction with the government policies. Note, however, that during that period the level of satisfaction with the situation in Poland was very high. At that time, the government??™s call for systemic reform generated tensions and concerns that were articulated in numerous protest actions. The period in which the most comprehensive and complex institutional reforms were proposed and implemented was also the period of the most intense contentious mobilization. This shows that at the moment of major institutional reform, many Poles decided not stay on the sidelines and tried to get engaged in policy-making.

FIG. 10. Demands (non-economic)

Change domestic policies
120 100 80 60 40 20 0

General dissatisfaction with policies

Increased influence in decision making

Recognition of identity

Abortion debate

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Size of protest events Small events predominate. The majority of events for which size was recorded had up to 200 participants. In reality, the margin is much higher. Our preliminary analysis of descriptions of events for which size was not recorded suggests that many of them involved small numbers. Labor unions were able to mobilize the largest numbers of participants for the vents they sponsored (Table 11b).

18

Table 11. Size
No. of participants Pct. of cases (only events for which data is available) 16.4 37.0 17.2 7.6 7.2 9.4 5.2

0-20 21-200 201-500 501-1000 1001-2000 2001-10.000 over 10.000

Data are available for 45.3% of events Table 11b: Size by type of organization leading or sponsoring (% of events for which size is recorded)
Labor unions 0-20 21-200 201+ 5.2% 21.2% 63.6% Political parties 14.8% 34.2% 51.0% Youth organizations 10.8% 39.2% 50.0% None (spontaneous events) 30.1% 39.8% 30.1%

Intervention by the authorities The authorities intervened in 10% of cases. Over time, the attitude of authorities to protests changed, but there is no clear trend. The most intriguing finding is the fact that the most frequent targets of the official interventions were the young people. Events in which they participated were twice as likely to cause intervention than other events, and they were three times more likely to be forcefully dispelled. Table 12 Intervention (% of events)
Intervention without force Intervention with force No intervention Data unavailable 4,0% 5,7% 42,2% 39,6%

19

FIG. 11. Intervention (% of events)
20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Table 13. Intervention by protesting groups (% of events in which intervention was recorded)
Protesting groups workers Intervention without force Intervention with force 4.0% 4.7% service sector 2.1% 2.7% neighborhood, local 4.7% 6.6% youth 5.3% 16.5% farmers 5.0% 6.9% health or welfare 3.1% 4.4%

20

3. Indicators of civil society: other data
In a comparative perspective, Eastern Europe is characterized by relatively weak civil society (see, for example, Howard). This holds true regardless of the indicator.

Protest activities In comparison with other EU countries, protest activities are not widespread in Poland and Hungary. As far as participation in legal demonstrations is concerned, Poland is at the bottom of the ranking, with Hungary very close. Polish people are slightly more eager to sign petitions. Table 14.
Protest activities (last 12 months) ESS data 2002-2007; % adults Spain Luxembourg France Italy Germany Belgium Denmark Austria Sweden Ireland Greece United Kingdom Czech Republic Portugal Netherlands Slovakia Slovenia Hungary Estonia Finland Poland Signed petition Taken part in lawful public demonstration 22,4% 17,3% 14,5% 11,2% 9,3% 7,5% 7,1% 7,0% 6,3% 5,8% 4,5% 4,2% 3,7% 3,7% 3,4% 3,3% 2,8% 2,8% 2,1% 2,0% 1,5%

23,2% 24,1% 32,7% 16,1% 30,7% 28,9% 31,1% 24,1% 44,6% 24,2% 3,9% 38,6% 13,9% 5,2% 22,3% 21,6% 10,5% 4,9% 5,2% 27,1% 7,4%

21

Activity in organizations Poland and Hungary are at or near the bottom of the European ranking of membership in nonpolitical organizations and associations. Table 15.
Worked in non-political organization or association in last 12 months (ESS data) Finland Sweden Denmark Belgium Netherlands Austria Luxembourg Germany France Spain Ireland Czech Republic United Kingdom Italy Slovakia Poland Greece Portugal Estonia Slovenia Hungary % adults 31,9% 25,2% 22,1% 21,5% 21,4% 21,2% 20,9% 19,6% 16,1% 15,5% 12,9% 9,8% 8,8% 8,7% 8,4% 5,5% 5,4% 3,7% 3,6% 2,1% 1,9%

While the ESS data reveal that in comparative European perspective Central European countries are characterized by low rates of membership, they do not give the correct idea about the exact proportion of the population that is active in NGOs. The definition of organization proposed by ESS appears restrictive. Apparently, for the CEE respondents it means only formal, official structures. Other data sources reveal that if different wording is used, the number of self-identified participants and activists is higher. In Poland, according to Diagnoza Spoleczna 2007 survey, 15% of adult population belongs to organizations, associations, parties, trade unions or religious movements (in 2005 and 2003, 12%). Surveys conducted by Klon/Jawor association, SMG/KRC and Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wolontariatu indicate that 14% of Polish people declare membership in an NGO, social or religious movement, trade union or charity. The Klon/Jawor assesses that between 14-20% of adults volunteer in NGOs.

22

Table 16.
Volunteers (% adults) 2001 10% 2002 11.1% 2003 17.7% 2004 18.3% 2005 23.2% 2006 21.8% 2007 13.2%

Source: Klon/Jawor, SMG KRC A Millward Brown Company, Stowarzyszenia Centrum Wolontariatu

CBOS surveys indicate that around 20% of adults claim to be performing some type of civic activity in organizations, many in more than one area. Table 17.
Civic activity in organizations Inactive Active – one – two – three or more
II 1998 (N=1167) XII 1999 (N=1522) I 2002 (N=973) I 2004 (N=1057) I 2006 (N=1007) I 2008 (N= 890)

% 77 23 15 4 4 76 24 13 5 6 79 21 15 4 2 76 24 14 5 5 77 23 14 4 5 80 20 12 4 4

Source: CBOS In comparison to other organizations, CBOS reports higher numbers. This seems to be the result of the different wording of the question(s). The listing of the types of organizations is very detailed and allows respondents to identify civic activity they might not have otherwise understood in these categories (PTAs, hobby groups, etc.)

23

Table 18.
Civic activity (types of organizations) Educational, PTAs, school foundations Trade unions Church and religious organizations Sports clubs Children??™s charities Charities (not for children) Youth and students??™ organizations Anglers??™, hunters??™ and gardeners??™ clubs Volunteer firefighters Seniors??™ and pensioners??™ clubs Countryside and tourists??™ associations Veterans??™ associations Regional associations, town and local culture clubs Women??™s organizations Hobby clubs Environmental organizations Healthcare foundations Local government on lowest level (neighborhood council) Artistic (choir, musical band, theatre group) Self-help, e.g. AA, unemployed Self-government on gmina level Self-government on county and voivodship level Scientific associations Professional associations Employee representation, works councils Political parties Organizations promoting friendship with other countries Single-issue groups, protest groups Animal protection groups Others % adults II XII I I I 1998 1999 2002 2004 2006 4.5 3.2 3.6 2.2 1.2 1.5 1.5 2.4 3.0 1.4 1.6 1.4 0.7 1.0 0.5 0.9 0.7 1.0 0.9 0.6 1.1 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.5 1.1 0.2 5.5 4.8 3.9 3.1 2.9 2.8 2.0 3.1 2.0 1.4 2.0 1.3 0.8 1.5 0.7 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.8 1.1 1.3 0.4 1.4 0.8 0.3 0.8 0.7 1.2 1.1 0.9 3.2 3.3 2.0 2.7 1.0 1.3 2.1 1.8 3.0 1.2 0.6 0.9 0.4 0.8 0.7 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.9 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.8 0.5 0.2 0.6 0.1 0.3 0.7 0.2 4.2 3.8 3.9 4.8 2.4 2.4 2.3 2.9 2.2 1.8 1.3 1.4 0.6 1.2 1.2 1.2 0.8 1.0 1.9 1.0 1.1 0.5 1.4 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.4 0.8 0.3 4.8 3.9 3.4 3.5 3.5 2.1 2.3 2.5 3.4 1.8 0.9 1.2 0.8 0.8 0.7 1.8 1.5 1.2 1.6 1.3 0.9 0.2 1.2 0.5 1.1 0.7 0.6 1.0 1.6 0.9 I 2008 4.8 3.2 2.8 2.8 2.4 2.4 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 1.7

Source: CBOS

24

Community service According to the Diagnoza Spoleczna 2007 survey of adult population, 14% of Polish people claim to have been active on behalf their community (town, neighborhood). There is a slow but systematic increase in this type of activity: 8% in 2000, 12.9% in 2003, 13.6% in 2005. Participation in public meetings rises very slowly: 20% of adults attended a public meeting in 2007, 19% in 2005, and 18% in 2003. 57% of participants spoke at the meeting. CBOS surveys confirm this data. About 20% of adults declare that they have performed volunteer, unpaid work for the benefit of their environment, church, neighborhood, town, village, or for the people in need.

CBOS
FIG. 12. Volunteer, unpaid work for the benefit of their environment, church, neighborhood, town, village, or for the people in need.

Yes I 2002 I 2004 I 2006 I 2008 19% 24% 23% 20%

No 81% 76% 77% 80%

Membership in trade unions Trade unions are specific organizations that constitute a separate sector of civil society. Comparative work on the type and level of unionization is hampered by the frequently considerable differences in national laws and regulations impacting this sphere. Each country has its own system of incentives and organizational rules that strongly influence levels and institutional designs of unionization. Nonetheless, the union membership is a good measure of a certain type of socio-economic capital and the ability to self-organize to struggle for economic and political goals. Both Poland and Hungary belong to the weakly unionized EU members. However, union membership is falling throughout the industrialized world and low union density in the CEE countries is a part of this trend. The weakness or strength of unions is also influenced by such factors as the coverage of workforce by collective bargaining or the type and the robustness of social dialogue (bi- and tripartite). Poland has weakly covered workforce (30% at the level of enterprise, 10% at the sector level ??“ ETUI data), and social dialogue has little influence on the development and implementation of government policies.

25

Table 19. Membership in trade unions (ESS data)
Denmark Sweden Finland Belgium Luxembourg Slovenia Ireland Austria Netherlands United Kingdom Italy Greece Germany Hungary Slovakia Portugal Czech Republic Poland Spain France Estonia

Current (employees)
81,9% 74,4% 68,1% 43,6% 42,2% 39,6% 33,8% 28,8% 27,1% 25,9% 23,6% 19,8% 16,3% 15,9% 15,1% 14,1% 14,0% 14,0% 13,5% 11,0% 10,2%

Ever (all adults)
84,5% 78,8% 69,6% 47,1% 36,9% 53,3% 43,0% 38,4% 33,2% 44,8% 26,2% 17,1% 38,4% 52,0% 47,5% 16,7% 54,6% 31,0% 15,8% 22,2% 59,8%

The decline of union membership in Poland has been faster than in the countries of Western Europe or US. This is due to many different factors: country-specific, system-specific, and global. The basic system-specific factor is the changing role of trade unions in posttransformation economies. Under socialism, union membership was essentially automatic, with density close to 100%. The basic role of unions in state enterprises was the distribution of certain in-kind benefits and support for employees in difficult economic situation. Unions were hardly ever challenging the management. The high membership figures are therefore misleading: membership did not signal the ability or willingness to self-organize. The post-communist property transformations meant bankruptcy of inefficient enterprises, privatization, and green-field investment. The average size of workplace fell, and services replaced manufacturing as the dominant sector of the economy. All these factors undermined the position of unions, which tend to be strongest in big industrial plants, mining, public administration, and education.

26

Table 20.
Trade union membership 1989-2008 Total – Solidarity – OPZZ – Forum of Trade Un. – other
V III IV VI XII III IX VI III V VII VII X IX IX II XI XII 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

% adults in Poland 22 7 15 22 15 6 1 19 10 6 3 16 6 6 4 10 5 3 2 14 5 5 4 11 6 3 2 11 5 3 3 11 5 3 3 9 4 3 2 8 3 2 3 6 2 2 2 8 3 2 1 2 8 3 2 1 2 9 3 2 1 3 7 3 1 1 2 6 2 2 1 2 6 2 1 1 2

CBOS data Trust It seems rather uncontroversial to assume that strong civil society is built on trust (Putnam and Goss 2002). Trust in others is a pre-requisite of co-operation to achieve common goals. In this respect, both Poland and Hungary, but especially Poland, rank very low (Table 21). Table 21. Generalized trust (ESS data) Most people can be trusted OR You cant be too careful (10-point scale)
Denmark Finland Sweden Netherlands Ireland Estonia United Kingdom Luxembourg Austria Spain Belgium Germany France Italy Czech Republic Slovakia Hungary Slovenia Portugal Poland Greece

Mean
6,92 6,51 6,14 5,74 5,59 5,25 5,21 5,11 5,09 4,96 4,86 4,69 4,47 4,41 4,19 4,17 4,12 4,06 3,99 3,79 3,77

Std. dev.
2,079 1,885 2,173 2,095 2,459 2,172 2,195 2,385 2,415 2,162 2,329 2,328 2,254 2,319 2,406 2,360 2,415 2,555 2,272 2,360 2,482

27

In 1970s, Stefan Nowak, a renowned Polish sociologist, proposed a hypothesis about the existence of ???social vacuum??? in Poland. In this conception, Polish society is a ???federation of families and friendship groups united in a nation.??? The family ties are strong, but voluntary relations are weak. Group activity tends to be defined by kinship and each such family network acts in opposition to, and has interests incompatible with the others. The data presented and analyzed in this paper indicate that this holds true at present as well.

CBOS
FIG. 13. Trust in:
Close family Distant family Friends and acquaintances Colleagues at work Neighbors Strangers Definitely has 81% 38% 20% 21% 16% 4% Rather has 68% 64% 60% 33% Rather has not 52% 18% 1% 7% 1% 7% 9% 1% 17% 38% 3% 7%

Definitely has not

28

4. Summary and conclusions
Many Polish sociologists and political scientists diagnose the end of the transformation period. The revolutionary reforms introduced in 1989/90 changed the economic, social, and political life. They created a new system that was consolidated before or around the time Poland entered the EU. Therefore, our protest event database encompasses the whole transformation period. The preliminary results of our analyses can be summarized in seven points: 1. From 1989 to 2004 protest intensity diminished. The further from the commencement of the 1989 reforms, the fewer events are recorded in our database. This trend was particularly pronounced in reference to economic demands. At the beginning of the transformation, the stakes were higher, as new rules were, to some extent, negotiated. At the grass roots level, the outcomes of market reform and property transformation for enterprises were unclear, and power and ownership could be changed by collective action. As situation stabilized, such motives lost their relevance. Another wave of protests in the second half of the 1990s confirms this observation. As the major reforms of the state were introduced, for many groups the stakes rose again and some of their members engaged in collective action. 2. This regularity was complemented by another: as the satisfaction with the situation in the country increased, so did the intensity of protest activity. The latter peeked twice. First, during the early transformation, when optimism prevailed and the first benefits of the transformation became apparent (hyperinflation was checked, market shortages disappeared), but the negative consequences did not yet affect the population. The second period of increased protest activity was the high-growth, low-unemployment period 1996-98. This correlation signals that political (government policies and their public perception), cultural (ideological framing of events, political opponents, etc.) and psycho-social (transformational fatigue, periods of optimism) factors must be taken into account as potential explanatory variables. 3. Trade unions were the most active organizers of protests, and manual workers were the most active social group. However, the intensity of labor mobilization steadily decreased. This trend may be attributed to the consolidation of the economic system on the one hand, and to the weakness of labor unions on the other. Trade unions were involved in the early economic transformation in many roles: Solidarity provided a ???protective shield??? for the reforms in its first months on the national level. On the level of enterprises, it often participated in selecting new management. In the following years, Solidarity ceased to be the key actor, and all unions lost members. This loss coincided with the decrease in the number of labor-sponsored protest events. 4. During the early transformation years, the protesting groups were largely defined by their professional status (workers, service sector employees, white collars). This changed towards the end of the period under study. Protest by employees diminished, but young people and groups of neighbors continued their engagement in contentious politics. As a result, they became (in relative terms) major players. This signals the possibility that a civil society based on post-material values was slowly emerging.

29

5. Interestingly, protest events serving as vehicles for the formation of new identities (ethnic, gender, sexual, religious etc.) were rare, and occurred almost exclusively during the early transformation period. Similarly, the ???protest??? debate over abortion practically stopped in the 21st century. One can hypothesize that the early 1990s were formative also in the cultural sphere. As historical institutionalists would predict, early events pre-determined certain longterm trends in the formation of collective identities and basic definitions of the postcommunist situation. For instance, the restrictive Polish abortion law (it is only allowed when the mother??™s health is in danger, when serious defects are detected in the fetus, or in cases of rape or incest), which caused strong controversies after it was introduced, is now largely accepted by the public opinion. 6. Generally accepted and broadly used indicators show that civil society in East Central Europe is weak in comparison with other EU or OECD countries. Moreover, it shows no signs of improvement. Some indicators indicate stability (membership in NGOs, community activities, trust), while others (e.g. volunteer work, protest density) even show some weakening. 7. It is, however, argued by some sociologists that these indicators do not capture the specificity of Polish or East European civil society, because they tend to focus on established formal organizations, rather than informal networks which constitute the civil society??™s core in the region. NGOs may be unpopular, and they are associated in public opinion with state institutions, to which they are often tied. However, low membership in such organizations does not mean that citizens are inactive. They operate through informal or semi-formal networks, dubbed ???home-made civil society??? in a recent study (Giza Poleszczuk 2009). What needs to be investigated is the impact of this individualized and informal civil society on the performance, consolidation, or quality of democracy.

30