The Institutional Development of a Minimal Parliament: the case of the Polish Sejm

  • David M. Olson
  • Maurice D. Simon


The past decade of Polish socialism has been marked by accelerated social and economic changes which have presented serious political challenges for the Communist Party leadership. Recent examinations of Polish society (de Weydenthal, 1979; Blazynski, 1979; Simon and Kanet, 1980) depict a situation in which the intensification of citizen demands for a variety of economic, social and political benefits and rights have placed heavy strains on the institutional capacities of the system. The working class disturbances of 1970 and 1976 followed by the labour tensions and work stoppages of more recent years, in particular, have underscored the need for more effective governance. Indeed, since 1970 such pressures have prompted the ruling Polish United Workers Party (PUWP) repeatedly to issue promises to reform and perfect governing institutions by promoting ‘socialist democracy’ (Zawadzki, 1980a).


Institutional Development Comparative Perspective Committee Activity Administrative Agency Committee Membership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bauman, Zygmunt (1976) ‘The Party in the system-management phase: change and continuity’, in Andrew C. Janos (ed.), Authoritarian Politics in Communist Europe, Research Series, no. 28, (Berkeley, California: Institute of International Studies) pp. 81–108.Google Scholar
  2. Bielasiak, Jack (1981) ‘Recruitment policy, elite integration, and political stability in People’s Poland’, in Maurice D. Simon and Roger E. Kanet (eds.), Background to Crisis: Policy and Politics in Gierek’s Poland (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press) pp. 95–136.Google Scholar
  3. Bierzanek, Remigiosz and Gwizdz Andrzej (1967) ‘Parliamentary control over the administration in Poland’, Polish Round Table 146–69.Google Scholar
  4. Blazynski, George (1979) Flashpoint Poland (New York: Pergamon).Google Scholar
  5. Blondel, Jean (1973) Comparative Legislatures (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall).Google Scholar
  6. Bromke, Adam (1972) ‘Poland under Gierek: a new political style’, Problems of Communism, September–October, 1–19.Google Scholar
  7. Bromke, Adam (1981) ‘Policy and politics in Gierek’s Poland’, in Maurice D. Simon and Roger E. Kanet (eds), Background to Crisis: Policy and Politics in Gierek’s Poland (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press) pp. 3–25.Google Scholar
  8. Burda, Andrzej (1975) Sejm Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej (Warsaw: Ossolineum).Google Scholar
  9. Burda, Andrzej (1978) Parliament of the Polish People’s Republic (Warsaw: Ossolineum).Google Scholar
  10. Chrypinski, Vincent D. (1965) ‘Poland’s parliamentary committees’, East Europe, 14 (January) 17–24.Google Scholar
  11. Chrypinski, Vincent D. (1966) ‘Legislative committees in Polish lawmaking’, Slavic Review, 25 (June) 247–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, Lenard J. (1977a) ‘Conflict management and political institutionalization in socialist Yugoslavia: a case study of the parliamentary system’, in Albert F. Eldridge (ed.), Legislatures in Plural Societies (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press) pp. 122–65.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, Lenard J. (1977b) ‘Political participation, competition, and dissent in Yugoslavia: a report of research on electoral behavior’, in Jan Triska and Paul Cocks (eds), Political Development in Eastern Europe (New York: Praeger) pp. 178–216.Google Scholar
  14. de Weydenthal (1979) Poland: Communism Adrift, The Washington Papers, vol. 1, no. 8 (Beverly Hills and London: Sage Publications).Google Scholar
  15. Dobieszewski, Adolf (1977) Organizacja polityczna spoleczenstwa socjalistycznego w Polsce (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  16. Fiszman, Joseph R. (1977) ‘Educational equality in Eastern Europe with special focus on Poland’, Politics and Society, 7 (September) pp. 297–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fried, R. C. (1966) Comparative Political Institutions (New York, Macmillan).Google Scholar
  18. Gebethner, Stainslaw (1976) Ustroj Polityczny Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej (Warsaw: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza).Google Scholar
  19. Gebethner, Stainslaw (1978) ‘Ustroj Panstwowy PRL’, in Zofia Lewandowska (ed.), Polska kraj i ludzie (Warsaw: Polska Agencja Interpress) pp. 80–90.Google Scholar
  20. Gripp, Richard C. (1973) The Political System of Communism (New York: Dodd, Mead).Google Scholar
  21. Gross, Jan T. (1979) ‘Thirty years of crisis management in Poland’, in Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone (ed.), Perspectives for Change in Communist Societies (Boulder: Westview Press) pp. 147–63.Google Scholar
  22. Herman, Valentine and Mandel, Françoise, (1976) Parliaments of the World (Berlin: Gruyter).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huntington, Samuel P. (1968) Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  24. Ionescu, Ghita (1967) The Politics of the European Communist States (New York: Praeger).Google Scholar
  25. Janos, Andrew C. (1976) ‘Systemiç models and the theory of change in the comparative study of communist politics’, in Andrew C. Janos (ed.), Authoritarian Politics in Communist Europe, Research Series, no. 28 (Berkeley, California: Institute of International Studies) pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  26. Jarosz, Zdzislaw, and Popkowski, Wojciech (1980) Sejm PRL VII Kadencji (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  27. Kedzia, Zdzislaw (1975) Parliament Socjalistyczny (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  28. LaPalombara, Joseph (1974) Politics Within Nations (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall).Google Scholar
  29. LaPalombara, Joseph (1975) ‘Monoliths or plural systems: through conceptual lenses darkly’, Studies in Comparative Communism, (autumn) 305–32.Google Scholar
  30. Lezenski, Cezary (1978) ‘Political geography: the Democratic Party’, Polish Perspectives, XXI (November) 42–6.Google Scholar
  31. Lipski, Witold (1978) ‘Political geography: the United Peasants Party’, Polish Perspectives, XXI (July–August) 25–9.Google Scholar
  32. Little, D. Richard (1971) ‘Legislative authority in the Soviet political system’, Slavic Review, 30 (March) 57–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Little, D. Richard (1972) ‘Soviet parliamentary committees after Khrushchev: obstacles and opportunities’, Soviet Studies, XXIV (July) 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Little, D. Richard (1977) ‘Weak legislatures: potential power as an empirical construct’, an unpublished paper, San Diego State University, California.Google Scholar
  35. Lutrzykowski, Alfred and Zemke, Janusz (1980) ‘PSPR, ZSL i SD w sytemie politycznym Polski Ludowej’, Studia Nauk Polityczny, no. 2, 44 pp. 11–37.Google Scholar
  36. Mason, David (1977) Elite Change and Policy in Communist Poland (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University (Ph.D. dissertation)).Google Scholar
  37. Mezey, Michael L. (1979) Comparative Legislatures (Durham North Carolina: Duke University Press).Google Scholar
  38. Milc, Stanislaw (1978) ‘Political geography: the Polish United Workers’ Party’, Polish Perspectives, XXI (December) 22–6.Google Scholar
  39. Nelson, Daniel N. (1980) ‘Editor’s introduction: communist legislatures and communist politics’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, v (May) 161–73.Google Scholar
  40. Olson, David M. (1980a) The Legislative Process: A Comparative Approach (New York: Harper & Row).Google Scholar
  41. Olson, David M. (1982) ‘The Polish Sejm in comparative perspective: dimensions of analysis’, The Polish Roundtable (Warsaw: Polish Political Science Association).Google Scholar
  42. Patterson, Samuel C. and Wahlke, John C. (1978) ‘Trends and prospects in legislative behavior research’, in Heinz Eulau and John C. Wahlke, (eds), The Politics of Representation (Beverley Hills, California: Sage Publications) pp. 281–90.Google Scholar
  43. Poland (1978) Constitution of the Polish People’s Republic (Warsaw: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza RSW Prasa-Ksiazka-Ruch).Google Scholar
  44. Poland, Sejm (1976a) Informacja o dzialalnosci Sejmu (VI Kadencja-1972–76) (Warsaw).Google Scholar
  45. Poland, Sejm (1976b). Spis Poslow na Sejm (1976). Warsaw.Google Scholar
  46. Poland, Sejm (1978/79) Unpublished file of legislative documents, Sejm Library.Google Scholar
  47. Polish United Workers Party (1976) For a Further Dynamic Development of Socialist Construction (Warsaw: Polska Agencja Interpress).Google Scholar
  48. Polish United Workers Party (1980a) VIII Zjazd Polskiej Zjednoczonej Partii Robotniczej (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  49. Polish United Workers Party (1980b) VIII Zjazd Polskiej Zjednoczonej Partii Robotniczej: Podstawowe dokumenty i materialy (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  50. Popkowski, Wojciech (1980) ‘Niektore problemy dzialalnosci komisji Sejmu VI i VII kadencji’, Panstwo i Prawo, 35 (February) 37–51.Google Scholar
  51. Rocznik Polityczny i Gospodarczy (Annual Yearbook) (Warsaw: Polska Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne).Google Scholar
  52. Rocznik Statystyczny (Annual Yearbook) (Warsaw: Glowny Urzad Statystyczny).Google Scholar
  53. Sadowski, Michal (1978) ‘Zycie spolezno-polityczne’, in Zofie Lewandowska (ed.), Polska kraj i ludzie (Warsaw: Polska Agencja Ludowej) pp. 91–102.Google Scholar
  54. Sakwa, George and Crouch, Martin (1978) ‘Sejm elections in communist Poland: an overview and a reappraisal’, British Journal of Political Science, 8 (August) 403–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Seroka, James H. (1979) ‘Legislative recruitment and political change in Yugoslavia’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, IV (February) 105–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Simon, Maurice D. (1980) ‘A window on Poland’s social transformation’, Problems of Communism, 29 (March–April) 76–80.Google Scholar
  57. Simon, Maurice D., and Kanet, Roger E., (eds) (1981). Background to Crisis: Policy and Politics in Gierek’s Poland (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press).Google Scholar
  58. Sokolewicz, Wojciech (1975) ‘Changes in the structure and functions of the Polish Sejm’, East Central Europe, 11 (January) 78–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Terry, Sarah Meiklejohn (1979) ‘The case for a “group” approach to Polish politics: comment’, Studies in Comparative Communism, 12 (Spring) 28–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Terry, Sarah Meiklejohn (1981) ‘The Sejm as symbol: recent Polish attitudes toward political participation’, in Maurice D. Simon and Roger E. Kanet (eds), Background to Crisis: Policy and Politics in Gierek’s Poland (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press) pp. 27–64.Google Scholar
  61. Ulicki, Wlodzimierz (1980) Partia a Sejm w PRL (Warsaw: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza).Google Scholar
  62. United States, Central Intelligence Agency (1977) Directory of Officials of the Polish People’s Republic (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office).Google Scholar
  63. Vanneman, Peter (1977) The Supreme Soviet (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press).Google Scholar
  64. White, Stephen (1980) ‘The USSR Supreme Soviet: a developmental perspective’, Legislative Studies Quarterly, 5 (May) 247–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wiatr, Jerzy J. (1978) Essays in Political Sociology (Warsaw: Ossolineum).Google Scholar
  66. Zawadzki, Sylwester (1976) ‘Z doswiadczen Sejmu w okresie 30-lecie Polskiej Ludowej’, Studia Juridica, IV 9–26.Google Scholar
  67. Zawadzki, Sylwester (1980a) Z teorii i praktyki demokracji socjalistycznej: Wybor artykulow (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza).Google Scholar
  68. Zawadzki, Sylwester (1980b) ‘Demokracja socjalistyczna-cele, kierunki, zadania’, Nowe Drogi, 4 (April) 65–75.Google Scholar
  69. Zawadzki, Sylwester (1980c) ‘Funkcja kontrolna Sejmu PRL’, Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny, XLII, no. 1, 15–38.Google Scholar
  70. Zawadzki, Sylwester (1980d) ‘Polish parliamentarianism’, Contemporary Poland, 14 (March) 5–12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Daniel N. Nelson and Stephen Leonard White 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Olson
  • Maurice D. Simon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations