Effect of militant labor organizations upon the processes of democratization in communist Poland and corporate Mexico
William J. Crotty
Michael S. (Michael Stanley) Dukakis (1933-), Elaine Bernard (1951-)
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Department of Political Science.
Democratization, Federation Authentico de Trabajo, Labor unions, Solidarity
Labor movement--Political aspects, NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization), Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (Mexico)
Contemporary political transitions from authoritarianism to formal democracy are typically presented as the result of negotiation and bargaining both between and among elite actors in resolving political and social crises. Popular pressure from civil society, collective action from below, is generally given second place in analyses of regime change. And this despite the fact that a robust civil society is an essential element for a stable and enduring democratic order. Within the confines of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, independent, militant labor organizations are invariably subversive elements of repressive government. They are compelled to demand at least de facto recognition of democratic rights, and cannot avoid encroaching upon the prerogatives of the authoritarian state, through strikes, popular demonstrations and other tactics of direct action, to advance their collective demands – activities that by their nature are a challenge to state power. Representing an organized constituency often occupying a strategic position within a national economy, the militant labor organization finds itself in the vanguard of rebellious and reformist elements of civil society, since of necessity it possesses an internal coherence and cohesion that may be lacking in other voluntary associations. This paper considers two contemporary movements of militant labor and their effect upon the democratization of their respective societies – Solidarnosc, the Polish Solidarity union, and the Frente Autentico de Trabajo, the Authentic Labor Front of Mexico. Solidarity confronted the breakdown of state Communism and neo-totalitarianism, while the FAT faces the neo-liberal reformation of an import-substitution economy within the decay of an authoritarian, corporatist structure.
Comack, Martin, "Comrades and citizens : the effect of militant labor organizations upon the processes of democratization in communist Poland and corporate Mexico" (2010). Political Science Dissertations. Paper 4. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000239
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.