Transformation of the Environmental Regulatory System in Poland During the 1990s
This paper examines the transformation of environmental regulatory system in Poland during the 1990s. It is a case of institutional transplantation from the past into the present: the place remained constant but the economic and political context rapidly changed over time. Drawing on five case studies of privatized firms, a mailed questionnaire, and policy and institutional analysis, it investigates how Poland developed an effective system for managing industrial pollution while also achieving considerable socioeconomic progress. One key lesson is that considerable and effective evolution of policies can take place during radical shifts in the political-economic context, as long as certain conditions are fulfilled. These include a good "fit" between the approaches taken and the existing modes of conducting societal transactions; wide sharing of certain values among the key societal actors; and continuity in policies and institutions. It also appears that a broad support for the rule of law and due process are crucial. The case of Poland also suggests that, while the developing countries do not necessarily need to reenact the evolution that has taken place among the developed countries during the past three decades, neither can they expect to leapfrog from a highly polluting "dirty" economy to a sustainable economy. The study also suggests that success in the first phase of regulatory system's transformation-centered around reducing pollution from the energy and manufacturing sectors-is not a predictor of its success in next phase, centered around sustainability issues. The types of institutions, political circumstances, and national capabilities are different for each phase. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
Knowledge, Technology, & Policy
Brown, Halina Szejnwald, "Transformation of the Environmental Regulatory System in Poland During the 1990s" (2007). International Development, Community, and Environment. 417.