L'évolution des institutions politiques et la révolution scientifique et technique

  • Jerzy J. Wiatr


The interrelation between the development of political institutions and the processes of scientific-technical revolution is twofold. On the one hand, there must exist the political preconditions of the rapid change in science and technology. On the other hand, the processes of rapid scientific and technical change produce important consequences in the politica life.
From the point of view of the economic structure of the country, Poland has reached the threshold of scientific-technical revolution ; it now depends on the political conditions whether the country wilt be able to achieve the stage of high technological development in reasonably short time.
Three changes in the functioning of political institutions are directly related to the processes of scientific-technical revolution : they are changes in the system of management on all levels of authority, changes in the circulation of informations and development of autonomic structures of decision-making. Indirectly, however, other changes in the system of political institutions influence the processes of scientific and technological 
change. Two variants of future developments of the political institutions are discussed in this context : that of a rationalized centralism and the one of democratic self-management. The author expresses the opinion that
both these variants would constitute conditions for rapid scientific and technological transformations but he favours the strategy of combining the strong elements of both and eliminating their weaknesses.
In the second part of the paper, the author discusses the consequences of scientific-technological revolution for the political institutions. Five major factors could be hypothetically identified : 1° changes in class
structure and social stratification, particularly in the direction of increased role of the professional stratum and the increase of educational level of the working class ; 2° further political integration of the nation; 3° changes
in the culture of work, increase of social discipline, and higher assessment of collective and individual efficacy of the Poles ; 4° achievement of the higher standard of living and on the basis of it leveling of economic
inequalities; 5° increase of the amount of leisure time. All these changes wilt result in the formation of better and more harmonious society, which in its turn wilt make it both possible and necessary to considerably
increase the scope of democratic self-management in all spheres of sociopolitical life. Potential restraints to this process may result from the inertia of old politica! institutions and/or from technocratic tendencies
among some segments of the aparatus. Neither, however, is likely to become strong enough to stop the processes of democratic self-management .
The main changes in the direction of greater self-management will include: 1° development of various forms of direct democracy on local levels ; 2° development of organizations which represent interests of various
segments of the society; 3° bettering of the representative institutions (Parliament and local councils); 4° further differentiation between administrative and political authorities and further democratization of the
latter; 5° deepening of the leading role of the Communist party combined with development of its internal democracy.

How to Cite:

Wiatr, J., (1973) “L'évolution des institutions politiques et la révolution scientifique et technique”, Res Publica 15(1), p.119-138. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1973
Peer Reviewed