The Impact of System Transformation on Demographic Processes in Selected Countries of Eastern Europe

Andrzej Raczaszek , University of Economics

The title of the study indicates the complexity of the analysed problem. A demographic perspective requires research to cover longer periods, as certain trends and patterns in demographic processes can only be observed in a longer time perspective. The title also features Eastern Europe as a spatial concept. That part of the continent, by the decision of the superpowers after the Second World War, was under the influence of the, now derelict, political Marxist doctrine. This was what granted that part of Europe certain historical coherence – for nearly half a century. Under European conditions, several decades without wars is not easy to come across in the continent’s history. That period of relative peace should be divided into certain phases characterised by the increased influence of certain factors. The post-war period was, from a demographic point of view, mainly the time of demographic compensation. All European countries, and Eastern Europe in particular, were rebuilding their demographic potential. In Poland at the turn of 1960’s and 70’s, there were the first obvious attempts at dismantling, or at the very least civilizing, of the prevailing totalitarian Communist regime. And, as is currently evident, those attempts have succeeded, as already three decades have passed since Poland (and later in other Eastern European countries) started undergoing a comprehensive system transformation in 1989. The above observations allow to formulate the objective of this study, which is to indicate to what extent the demographic processes in Eastern European countries have been shaped by the circumstances of the political transformation.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy