Molly Krasnodebska's book offers fresh insights into the mechanisms underlying post-communist transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, challenging the established "imitative" paradigm that for years has been the norm in political science when describing Poland's systemic transition from communism to democracy. In this important work Krasnodebska offers a new way to interpret Polish foreign and security policy choices in light of the country's strategic culture and its quest for security, while addressing the broader historical context that has shaped the region. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand post-communist transformation in the former Eastern Bloc.
This book studies how the pursuit of becoming an established 'insider' in an international community shapes a state's foreign policy. It looks at Poland's response to three international crises that called for joint action of the EU and its members: the Iraq war of 2003, the Russo-Georgian war of 2008, and the Ukraine crisis beginning in 2013. The book develops the concept of strategic culture as a collection of historically informed narratives that guide a state's pursuit of ontological security, a basic sense of certainty about the state's role and place in the international environment. Building on this concept the author argues that Poland's behavior reflects the awareness of its stigma as a 'late arrival' in the EU, and more generally in the 'West' as an identity community. The study thus provides insight into how stigmatization and struggle for recognition shape international dynamics.
Maria "Molly" Krasnodębska is a Polish diplomat in Reykjavik, Iceland, and she holds a PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge, UK.