INTR 241 Polish Foreign Policy After Communism, 1989-2019
- Spring 2019
The fall of the communist regime in 1989 allowed Poland to reorient its foreign policy. For the first 25 years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of Soviet/Russian combat troops from Poland, policy priorities, including membership in NATO and the EU, were rarely questioned by any Polish government. Since the 2015 elections, however, when the conservative and populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) gained the majority in parliament, the foreign policy of Poland has been undergoing substantial changes. The political and military alliance with the United States is still an undisputed priority, but the role of Poland in the EU has been slowly marginalized, and the PiS government has focused instead on building regional alliances in Central Europe at the cost of strategic bonds with Ukraine. In this course, we will examine the relationship of Poland to the rest of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, the transformation of Poland's ties to the United States, Russia, and European countries following the fall of communism, and the role of domestic politics and decision makers in shaping contemporary Polish foreign policy.