Poland / Transit

Die Idee des Intermariums: Ein mittelosteuropäischer Pakt gegen russischen Neoimperialismus

Die Sicherheitsinteressen Zwischeneuropas und vor allem der Ukraine verlangen nach einem Intermarium-Block – einer Koalition der Staaten zwischen Ostsee und Schwarzem Meer.
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The Warsaw NATO Summit and beyond

Obama’s criticism and the embarrassing act of censorship of his speech notwithstanding, the NATO Warsaw Summit proved on balance to be successful for Poland’s foreign policy goals, as well as those of NATO’s other Eastern Allies, as they have managed to secure NATO’s increased presence on the Eastern flanks as part of a defence against, and a deterrent to, Putin’s Russia. Nevertheless, with the UK gradually losing its influence following the Brexit referendum and most likely leaving the EU within a few years, Poland and NATO’s Eastern Allies are losing an important ally that provided significant political support for these countries in the EU and NATO. Law and Justice may also face growing isolation on the European level, especially if it does not find an acceptable solution for the constitutional crisis and continues questionable practices in the media sphere.
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Hobbesian Catholicism on the Rise in Poland?

The state church might have been a rational choice in England torn by religious wars of sixteenth century, but in twenty-first century Europe it is a dangerous vision for the Church, which risks losing its spiritual authority. Although a schism seems to be very unlikely, a further confessionalization of Polish state is quite probable. The question now is whether Catholic hierarchs in Poland will reject such a dangerous vision, and the lure of symbolic and financial gain, in favor of what is right for society and the Church.
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Poland vs. History

Perhaps the greatest surprise in the Polish government’s decision is the implicit alliance with current Russian memory policy. The move to limit the Polish history of World War II to the week-long engagement with Germany at Westerplatte in 1939 follows a Russian script that is entirely on the record. In a speech at Westerplatte in 2009, Vladimir Putin accepted that Poland, and not the USSR, was the first victim of German aggression. But there was an important proviso, which he has amplified several times since. The German attack on Poland, Putin asserts, was a consequence of Poland’s own dealings with Nazi Germany before the war, rather than a result of the Soviet-German alliance of 1939.
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Committee for the Defense of Democracy in Poland: Rebellion of the “Beneficiaries of the Transformation”?

KOD is avoiding sensitive subjects, which could divide its sympathizers, but at the same time with its moderate postulates it discourages those Poles who blame the former centrist government for its cultural conservatism and economic neoliberalism. By integrating different party groups, KOD is building its political capital, but at the same time it pays a high price for it. It is easy for PiS to frame these social protests as a revolt by those who lost the election and cannot accept their defeat.
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The Polish Presidential Election: A Victory for the “Radicals”?

The surprise defeat of the Polish president Bronisław Komorowski by the Law and Justice candidate Andrzej Duda suggests a return of the reactionary and parochial politics of the Kaczynski era. Social scientist Magdalena Nowicka discusses where Komorowski and the Civic Platform went wrong, and whether this is a taste of things to come in the Polish parliamentary elections in October.
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Dressed-up Nationalism

Present-day Polish nationalist discourse intersects with and is sustained by the “elite” discourse: it is dressed up in elegant and stylish clothes, it is propagated with eloquence and diligence, and it is supported with scholarly evidence and academic titles. It draws on the noble past and uses as a weapon unresolved historical traumas and past grandeur.
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Rachelka’s Tablecloth. Poles and Jews, Intimacy and Fragility “on the Periphery of the Holocaust”

What does local participation in the Holocaust—victims who refer to their murderers by the diminutive versions of their names—teach us about intimacy? About the fragility of the border between good and evil? About what it means to be a human being? For Marci Shore, these are the central questions addressed by Agnieszka Holland’s film In Darkness, Jan Gross‘s and Irena Grudzinska Gross’s book Golden Harvest, and Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s play Our Class. These works reveal the extent to which Poles are coming to see the history of Jews—their lives and their deaths—as a history about themselves, and about all of us.
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Being Normal in Poland

Photo: Tatiana Zhurzhenko 2010

What makes the bond between Polishness and Catholicism an expected norm, and how does this lead to the symbolic exclusion of non-ethnic Poles and non-Catholics from the national community? In her study of a multi-religious and multi-ethnic community in rural Poland, Agnieszka Pasieka argues that there are multiple ways in which local people challenge the “Pole-Catholic” norm, demonstrating the arbitrariness of the “taken-for-granted” and their own ways of “being a Pole”.
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Polen: Die Radikalen an der Macht

Das politische Leben der letzten Jahre in Polen ist faszinierend und beunruhigend zugleich. Polen ist ein Staat, der stolz sein darf auf seine zahlreichen Erfolge, ein Staat, der eine besonders problembeladene Transformationsperiode hinter sich hat, in der Demokratie und Marktwirtschaft erfolgreich eingeführt wurden, ein Staat, der einen mehr als respektablen Platz in der internationalen Gemeinschaft …
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