National Collegiate Honors Council


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UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


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Through its thousand-year existence, the state of Poland has been a continental anomaly. The very existence of the state was questioned, challenged, and influenced by foreign powers intent on empire. At the end of World War II, the then-communist Polish state remained tightly under the influence of the Soviet Union. After years of underlying dissatisfaction with the pitiful performance of a centrally planned economy, the Poles, through “Solidarity,” forced democratic reforms in the late 1980s and capitalism was formally embraced. Explaining why the Poles rejected communism, French anthropologist and renowned political scientist Emmanuel Todd suggests that the roots of the Polish tendency towards social market economy lie in the traditional family system of Poland, the “egalitarian nuclear family.” The current Polish education system, influenced by the rise of the right-wing populist Law and Justice Party, is structured to focus on the Polish culture, monarchic past, and native language. In the wake of nationalism in international politics, the Law and Justice Party rose to power in 2015 and is the current ruling party of the democratic state. In stark contrast to the Soviet-era Polish political system, the power structure of the national government is reflective of Western democratic political systems, featuring separation of powers and multiple political parties.

Influenced heavily by its cultural past, the Republic of Poland is an evolving, promising European nation, offering foreign investors the potential for development and economic growth, particularly in financial services. From decades of a nonexistent financial services industry under communism, Poland’s economic system greatly shifted in recent decades as a result of pursuing policies of privatization and economic liberalization. Generally encouraging of Foreign Direct Investment, the Polish government maintains an open stance of FDI in the financial services, with the exception of the banking industry. As the sixth largest economy in Central Europe with positive economic conditions, Poland represents a potential growth opportunity for multinationals in the financial services industry.