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The State's Capacity to Change

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

The processes which occurred in the Philippines in 1986 were perceived as similar to the ones which took place in Poland in 1980-1981. This perceived similarity is based on some aspects of the state structure and on the fact that in both cases society rebelled against the regime. By looking into the two cases we analyze the repressive regimes as being a product of a specific constellation of political, social and economic processes which emerge on national and international levels. We focus on the interaction between civil society and the state in the authoritarian context. Among the structural determinants which has precipitated the fall of Marcos regime we see: absence of successor to Marcos in his own ranks, disenchantment of the middle classes, support of the catholic church and the aggregated fear of the communist takeover. In Poland, on the other hand, the delegitimization of the state, fading of the official ideology and rupture in economic plans have led to the emergence of social movement which, however, was completely unable to capitalize on such structural processes as disenchantment of various social groups. Consequently, the monolythic myth of Solidarity was destroyed.


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