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This paper examines the extent to which Solidarity acted as a link between the population and the regime and as a representative of the interests of the workers. It looks first at the reasons for the emergence of Solidarity, and Solidarity's subsequent embodiment of the society's desire for a political and economic order more in line with the ideals of socialism, and more genuinely representative of the workers' interests. It concludes by assessing the charges against Solidarity made by the martial law authorities, the extent of current support for the union and the regime, and the possibilities for a resolution of the stalemate.


This is an electronic version of an article that was published in ‘Soviet Studies’ © 1983 Copyright University of Glasgow; Soviet Studies is now published as ‘Europe-Asia Studies’ and is available online at: