Open Access

The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Social Policy in Interwar Poland

   | Dec 30, 2021


The aim of this paper is to determine how the economic crisis, and the ad hoc attempts made by the authorities to counteract it, affected the Polish society and, above all, to prepare a multidimensional analysis of how the crisis impacted systemic changes in the Polish social policy. The author will examine both positive changes that followed the relevant global trends and also negative changes that resulted from the developmental lag, the country’s economic situation and especially the generally low involvement of the state via public funding in activities that were part of the state’s social policy.

Assessment of Polish social policy during the crisis must be ambiguous. On the one hand, systemic changes in social policy introduced as a result of the economic collapse can be clearly distinguished, on the other hand, however, the severity of the crisis visibly affected many activities of state and local governments in the social sphere. These activities posed unsuccessful attempts to rescue the situation in the labour market. Additionally, an effective response to deepening poverty was missing, amendments adopted to labour legislation were disadvantageous to employees, and finally fundamental sacrifices in terms of social policy were made as the lawmakers passed the Unification Act during the crisis. Polish social policy was unable, for a number of reasons, to essentially redefine its approach to addressing the numerous social issues it had to face.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Philosophy, other