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Turning points at the Round Table Talks
In the beginning of the last decade of the previous century the “wind of change” blew through Europe, leading to the fall of Communism and regime change in several Eastern-European countries. In most of them the process of negotiations between the previous communist government and the opposition took the form of round table talks. First of those talks happened in Poland between. In this paper our focus is on the negotiation process rather than broader historical trends, intricacies of politics, contagion effects, or the way that identities were transformed. The Round Table provides an opportunity to apply a turning points framework – that consists of three parts: precipitants, departures and consequences – used to analyze other historical cases alone or comparatively. The results of the analysis suggest that the nature of Round Table talks in Poland was extremely dynamic and that procedural events were the prevailing causes of abrupt departures.