A return to Europe: Poland and Western security structures since 1991
Yost, David S.
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Poland is arguably the leading example of successful democratization and Westernization within Central and Eastern Europe. This thesis explores how Poland’s participation in Western security structures has enabled it to reintegrate into Europe, emerging as one of the most politically influential and economically successful democratic nations from the former communist bloc. The steps and milestones of Poland’s accession to membership in NATO and the European Union, along with Poland’s participation in the Weimar Triangle, provide insight into Poland’s military, economic, and political transformations since 1991. This thesis analyzes Poland’s dramatic increase in participation in these Western security institutions and identifies where Poland has taken on a leadership role. In addition, this thesis explores to what extent Poland is likely to deepen its integration in each institution in the foreseeable future. This thesis concludes that one reason for Poland’s successful integration into the West is the country’s pursuit of membership in Western security institutions. Enrollment in these organizations required Poland to accomplish a drastic domestic overhaul affecting all sectors and levels of government. The result is that Poland now stands as a stable democratic nation in a region where such an outcome was not inevitable.
Reissued 26 Feb 2015 to correct spelling of advisor’s name on title page.Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
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