mgr Katarzyna Kwak


ORCID: 0000-0003-3212-9135

The topic of my dissertation is: Political and socio-economic transformation in the Republic of Estonia (1991-2011)”

The systemic transformation in Estonia began in 1991, and the pace of economic changes and development in this country was dynamic (despite strong ties with the economy of the USSR). The issue of the Baltic states is a topic that creates great research opportunities, because the scientific circulation in Poland lacks comprehensive studies that simultaneously address issues related to the political and economic changes that took place in Estonia and would indicate the correlation between the aforementioned transformations. Generally, works that jointly discuss issues related to the transformation in the Baltic states (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) or deal with the systemic issues of Central and Eastern European countries prevail.

The aim of this dissertation is to show, using the example of Estonia, the former republic of the USSR, that as a result of changes in political, social and economic life, a fully democratic political regime was formed, correlated with the market economy. As a result of the analysis of the changes that took place in the democratization process of Estonia, I would like to answer the question whether Estonia can be considered a consolidated democracy as a result of the transformation process. The Estonian political transformation is also often described as exemplary. It is worth bearing in mind that the country belongs to the group of "young" democracies definitely more prone to greater institutional instability than the established democracies of Western Europe. An important aspect will also be to investigate why Estonia distanced Lithuania and Latvia from the very beginning (after regaining independence they had similar position and potential), using radical solutions in the sphere of politics and economy. I also intend to analyze specific historical experiences that left their mark on subsequent democratic transformations (building one's own statehood and national identity, parliamentary traditions, as well as previous experiences with democracy). The events immediately preceding the collapse of the undemocratic regime are also an important aspect that requires analysis. An important research issue will be to determine the significance of endogenous and exogenous factors in the process of implementing democratic solutions and are there contemporary trends that negate the achievements of liberal democracy are present in Estonia? I would also like to get an answer to the question, what was the attitude of Estonian society to such radical changes? Additionally, it was also examined to what extent Estonia used the experience of its closest neighbors, Finland and Sweden, in the process of building new institutions and enterprises. To what extent have the numerous Scandinavian economic entities established in Estonia contributed to the development and dissemination of new technologies there? An important aspect of the research will be to establish the framework and contexts of mutual relations with Scandinavian countries in the past and today.

The conducted research project showing the difficult path of reforms leading to a democratic regime and a free market economy may constitute good models for future generations, but also other countries undergoing transformation and struggling with tax). Estonia may be a good, though not necessarily the best, model for how a successful transformation process should proceed and how liberal democracy should function in practice. The results of the research should enrich the research work carried out so far and the knowledge in Poland concerning the systemic transformation of the post-Soviet states. In addition, the issue of a comprehensive analysis of the systemic transformation in Estonia is little known in Poland, it does not arouse much interest among scientists, nor is it the subject of in-depth research, therefore this research project may make a significant contribution to political science research in this field.



  1. Recepcja sztuki prerafaelitów na ziemiach polskich w drugiej połowie XIX i na początku XX stulecia, „Przemyskie Zapiski Historyczna. Studia i materiały poświęcone historii Polski Południowo-Wschodniej”, t. XXIII, 2021, ss. 93-130 (ISSN 060-0317; ISBN 978-83-88172-83-0).
  2. Jednostka i jej prawa w publicystyce Thomasa Paine'a, w: Bezpieczeństwo. Prawa człowieka. Stosunki międzynarodowe, red. K. Żarna, M. Milczanowski, G. Pawlikowski, t. V, wyd. UR, Rzeszów 2022.