According to various independent research institutions Poland is now seen as the fastest destabilizing democracy. After 1989, Poland was often presented in the international public discourse as an example of the successful political and economic transition away from Communism. However, since 2015, Poland has been associated with terminologies not previously linked with this country: “nationalism”, “populism” or “breaking rule of law”. The authors of the book analyze the reasons for democratic backsliding in Poland in a more comprehensive and systematic manner. Special attention is paid to political polarization, which is a substantial threat to democracy. This volume shows the de-democratization of Poland from various perspectives, cultural and historical, political institutions, party politics, and media. Can the liberal model of of democracy remain intact with Poland, and what role does the EU play in all of this?. The book should be an required reading not only for scholars and students studying democratic decline, but also for everybody who wants to understand what is happening currently in Poland.
Łukasz Zamęcki is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw.
Renata Mieńkowska-Norkiene is political scientist and sociologist, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw.
Adam Szymański is political scientist, Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw.
Introduction by Łukasz Zamęcki, Renata Mieńkowska-Norkien, and Adam Szymański
Chapter 1: Poland and the De-democratization: the Ideological Dimension by Filip Ilkowski
Chapter 2: The Importance of Social Mobilization in the Processes of De-democratization in Poland After 2015 by Anna Wierzchowska
Chapter 3: Party Politics and Political Polarization in Poland as the Roots of De-democratization by Anna Pacześniak
Chapter 4: The War of the Worlds – De-democratization in Media Coverage. "Us” and "Them” in „Wiadomości” and „Fakty” – the News Programmes of the Public Broadcaster TVP and the Private Broadcaster TVN by Marta Jas-Koziarkiewicz
Chapter 5: The Poles on Democracy. The Risks of De-democratization by Ewa Maria Marciniak
Chapter 6: The Role of the Institutional Factor in the Development of De-democratization in Poland by Adam Szymański
Chapter 7: Is It Brussels' Fault? Narrating the (de-)Europeanization/ (de-)Democratization Nexus and Its Structural Determinants by Agnieszka K. Cianciara
Chapter 8: De-democratization in Poland or, Briefly, Why It Is the Polish Minister of Justice Who Has Managed This Process and Why Brussels Has Said (and Done) Not Enough to Stop It by Renata Mieńkowska-Norkiene
Conclusion: The Reasons of Democratic Backsliding in Poland by Łukasz Zamęcki, Renata Mieńkowska-Norkiene and Adam Szymański
"The book is a much need addition to the literature on autocratization. The authors provide a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the causes of Poland's recent democratic decline that spans from long-term factors such as history, political culture, and ideology, to the recent institutional, political, and social causes of autocratization highlighting, in particular, the distortions in the process of democratic consolidation post-1989. It is an essential reading for understanding the current state of Polish democracy.”