Ph.D. Researcher

Admitted in academic year 2016-2017Komornicka Aleksandra

Supervisor: F. Romero
Second Reader: C. Unger

Email: [email protected]

Postal address: Department of History and Civilization | Via Bolognese 156 | 50139 Florence – Italy

Aleksandra Komornicka is a PhD student in the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute. Between 2011 and 2014 she studied at the University of Warsaw, receiving two bachelor degrees in History and Cultural Studies. During her undergraduate studies, she also completed one semester at the university Paris-Sorbonne. In 2016, Aleksandra graduated from the London School of Economics where she pursued a master program at the International History Department. Aleksandra’s main fields of academic interest are Cold War, post-war history of Central Eastern Europe including transformation of the post-communist states and collective memory studies. Within the scope of the PanEur1970s project Aleksandra will examine Polish communist elite cooperation with Western European states and institutions.

Poland Opening towards the West, 1970-1980

The 1970s in Polish history are remembered as the “golden decade” of the communist period. The substantial increase in living standards, the liberal passport policy, and the relative cultural liberalization, all attest to the increasingly open attitude towards the West, to a level unseen in any other satellite state. Considering it as a fundamental element of the change in Polish policy in the 1970s, two questions emerge: what were the goals and the expectations of the cooperation with the West? How was it explained to the society after years of isolation and anti-capitalist propaganda? The aim of this project will be to understand how those were impacted by Polish specificitiesthe historically strong links with the West illustrated by the scale and power of Polish emigration, the attitude towards Germany and the Western border, and the appointment of a new Communist Party leadership in 1970.