The Rule of Law and its Social Reception as Determinants of Economic Development. A Comparative Analysis of Poland and Germany

Christopher Hartwell, Kateryna Karunska, Krzysztof Głowacki, Maria Krell
Content Type
Special Report
Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
The rule of law, by securing civil and economic rights, directly contributes to social prosperity and is one of our societies’ greatest achievements. In the European Union (EU), the rule of law is enshrined in the Treaties of its founding and is recognised not just as a necessary condition of a liberal democratic society, but also as an important requirement for a stable, effective, and sustainable market economy. In fact, it was the stability and equality of opportunity provided by the rule of law that enabled the post-war Wirtschaftswunder in Germany and the post-Communist resuscitation of the economy in Poland. But the rule of law is a living concept that is constantly evolving – both in its formal, de jure dimension, embodied in legislation, and its de facto dimension, or its reception by society. In Poland, in particular, according to the EU, the rule of law has been heavily challenged by government since 2015 and has evolved amid continued pressure exerted on the institutions which execute laws. More recently, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the perception of the rule of law and its boundaries throughout the EU and beyond (Marzocchi, 2020). Against this background, this study examines the rule of law as a determinant of economic development in Germany and Poland from both the de jure and de facto perspectives.
Economic Growth, Rule of Law, Trade, Economic Development
Political Geography
Europe, Poland, Germany