Ph.D. Researcher

Admitted in academic year 2016-2017

Supervisor: F. Romero
Second Reader: C. Unger

Email: [email protected]

Komornicka Aleksandra



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 opening towards the West, especially towards Western Europe, characterised the history of socialist Poland in the 1970s. The diplomatic détente, unprecedented economic exchange with capitalist countries, and inflow of products and culture from the other side of the Iron Curtain weakened the socialist regime, effectively linking it with the West. Considering the phenomenon, unseen on this scale in other socialist regimes, one of the central reasons for the subsequent failure of socialism in Poland, the project aims to investigate the goals and expectations of the socialist elites from the 1970s behind the political and economic opening. Precisely, it looks at the Polish attitudes towards international developments of the 1970s, as well as specific cases of economic and political cooperation with Western European actors, including states, companies and international organisations.