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Poland: International Team Project
This guide is designed to accompany the ITP: Poland course for Spring 2020. It is also of general interest to anyone interested in researching Polish law and legal institutions.
Provides access to news and reports pertaining to Poland on various human rights topics.
The Politics of Morality : : the church, the state, and reproductive rights in postsocialist Poland by Joanna Mishtal
Publication Date: 2015-07-15
After the fall of the state socialist regime and the end of martial law in 1989, Polish society experienced both a sense of relief from the tyranny of Soviet control and an expectation that democracy would bring freedom. After this initial wave of enthusiasm, however, political forces that had lain concealed during the state socialist era began to emerge and establish a new religious-nationalist orthodoxy. While Solidarity garnered most of the credit for democratization in Poland, it had worked quietly with the Catholic Church, to which a large majority of Poles at least nominally adhered. As the church emerged as a political force in the Polish Sejm and Senate, it precipitated a rapid erosion of women's reproductive rights, especially the right to abortion, which had been relatively well established under the former regime. The Politics of Morality is an anthropological study of this expansion of power by the religious right and its effects on individual rights and social mores. It explores the contradictions of postsocialist democratization in Poland: an emerging democracy on one hand, and a declining tolerance for reproductive rights, women's rights, and political and religious pluralism on the other. Yet, as this thoroughly researched study shows, women resist these strictures by pursuing abortion illegally, defying religious prohibitions on contraception, and organizing into advocacy groups. As struggles around reproductive rights continue in Poland, these resistances and unofficial practices reveal the sharp limits of religious form of governance.
This volume of essays and interviews by Polish, British, and American academics and journalists provides an overview of current Polish politics for both the informed and nonspecialist reader. The essays approach the questions why and how PiS: Law and Justice, the party of Kaczynski, returned to power and why and how it is doing what it is doing while in power. They help understand and make sense of how "history" plays a key role in Polish public life and politics. The language about PiS in Western media tends to rework old stereotypes about Eastern Europe that had lain largely dormant for some time. The book addresses the underlying question whether PiS was just fast enough in understanding its electorate, and helped Poland simply reverting to normalcy? Isn't this New Normal a lot like the Old Normal: insular, conservative, xenophobic, and statist? The book looks at the current struggle between one 'Poland' and another; between a Westernlooking Poland and an inwardlooking Poland, the former more interested in opening to the world, competing in open markets, working within the EU, and the latter more concerned with holding onto tradition. The question of illiberalism has gone from an 'Eastern' problem (Russia, Turkey, Hungary, etc.) to a global one (Brexit and the U.S. elections). This makes the very specific analysis of Poland's illiberalism applicable on a broader scale.
Populist Parties in Europe by Stijn van Kessel
Publication Date: 2015-02-10
Populism is a concept that is currently in vogue among political commentators and, more often than not, used pejoratively. The phenomenon of populism is typically seen as something adverse and, in the European context routinely related to xenophobic politics. What populism exactly is and who its main representatives are, however, often remains unclear. This text has two main aims: to identify populist parties in 21st century Europe and to explain their electoral performance. It argues that populist parties should not be dismissed as dangerous pariahs out of hand but rather that their rise tells us something about the state of representative democracy. The study has a broad scope, including populist parties of various ideological kinds - thus moving beyond examples of the 'right' - and covering long-established Western European countries as well as post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It presents the results of an innovative mixed-methods research project, combining a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of populist parties in 31 European countries with three in-depth case studies of the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.