Program

Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies , Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research in East European Studies , ACLS Fellowship Program

Project

For God and Fatherland: Catholicism, modernity, and Poland

Project

Supply-Side Socialism: The Foundations of Neoliberalism in Communist Poland

Department

History

For God and Fatherland: Catholicism, modernity, and Poland

Supply-Side Socialism: The Foundations of Neoliberalism in Communist Poland

The sudden emergence in postcommunist Eastern Europe of supply-side economics, austerity policies, and neoliberalism is puzzling. Although few members of the opposition advocated such ideas in the 1980s, after winning power in 1989 virtually every economic advisor warned that no other model was conceivable. This project searches for the origins of these economic theories among professional economists in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s by examining economics textbooks, internal government reports on economic policy, and speeches from mid-level politicians. It focuses not on the higher levels of economic theory but rather on the day-to-day work of those who were struggling to understand and improve Poland’s economy. Ultimately, understanding the Cold War origins of neoliberalism will help expose the assumptions underpinning the economic debates of today.