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Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

9. Poland: Model European or Awkward Partner?  

Nathaniel Copsey and Karolina Pomorska

This chapter examines the pattern of Poland’s relations with the European Union during the period 1989–2011. Poland took an early decision in 1989 to place European integration at the centre of its plans for democratization and modernization. Post-accession opinion in Poland on the EU was initially divided between an increasingly Europhile public and an occasionally Eurosceptic political class. By the time of the Polish Presidency of the EU in 2011, however, Poland had largely shed its reputation for awkwardness and had achieved a few policy successes, particularly in relations with its Eastern neighbours. The chapter explains how Poland came to join the EU and assesses the impact of its EU membership on domestic politics, public opinion, institutions, governance, and public policy. It concludes by considering the re-emergent divide between elite and public attitudes since the 2015 elections and tensions with the EU over the rule of law.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

16. The ‘Second’ Cold War, 1981–5  

This chapter focuses on the so-called ‘second’ Cold War spanning the years 1981–5. Ronald Reagan came to power on the back of a general rightwards shift in the political mood. He concentrated on a presentational role in government and pursued a simple foreign policy. He dismissed détente as a communist trick, was initially determined to resist the spread of the Soviet Union’s influence wherever it threatened and, going beyond that, wanted to carry the new Cold War into the Soviet camp. The chapter first considers US–Soviet relations during the new Cold War, paying attention to ‘Reaganomics’, before discussing the crisis in Poland in 1980–2. It then explores the issue of nuclear weapons control and the ‘Year of the Missile’ and concludes with an assessment of the war in Afghanistan up to 1985.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

6. Maintaining the Spheres of Influence  

This chapter examines how the United States and the Soviet Union tried to maintain their respective spheres of influence during the Cold War, especially in three regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Latin America. The death of Joseph Stalin and the assumption of power by the triumvirate of Lavrenti Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, and Georgi Malenkov resulted in a fresh approach to domestic issues and to the nature of Soviet control over its European satellites. The apparent change produced a new Soviet approach to East–West relations. The chapter first considers how the new Soviet leadership addressed the crisis in East Germany before analysing American influence in Western Europe and US relations with Latin America. The discussion covers themes and events such as the Soviet policy on Hungary and Poland, the Messina Conference and the Spaak Committee, nuclear cooperation and multilateral force, and the US response to the Cuban Revolution.