Poland in the Modern World

The Parade of Equality

Last Saturday, Warsaw held its annual “Parada Równości” (Equality Parade), the label used in Poland for gay rights marches. The organizers said afterwards that it was their largest ever, and my (very impressionistic) impression is that the responses from Varsovians ranged from disinterest to support. That is, there were very few signs of hostility, and

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Why the Opposition in Poland is so Weak

Sometimes a small moment can perfectly crystalize a monumental problem. That happened today in Poland. As readers of this blog know, the far-right authoritarian regime of Jarosław Kaczyński and the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS) have been dismantling Poland’s constitutional democracy for the past year and a half. They represent a

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Does Media Partisanship Matter?

In case anyone had any remaining doubts about the corruption of public television in Poland, a new survey by CBOS demonstrates starkly what has happened since the current government of Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, or PiS) took over in 2015. There are three major television news networks in Poland: one public (Telewizja Polska,

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The Bishops and Nationalism (followup)

We have the first test case to see what the Polish bishops really meant with their statement on nationalism from last Thursday, which I wrote about here. On Saturday, the furthest of far-right nationalist groups, the National-Radical Camp (Obóz Narodowo–Radykalny or ONR), had a march in Warsaw, presenting us with a scene that sent a chill down my

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Did the Polish Bishops Just Criticize Polish Nationalism?

On Thursday, the Polish bishops released a document entitled “The Christian Form of Patriotism” (Chrześcijański kształt patriotizmu). The text, which I’ve partially translated below, has a number of interesting passages which are already being interpreted as a condemnation of the nationalist excesses of groups affiliated with or supportive of the current government. In fact, that

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Smolensk (again!)

I’m so tired of writing about this. When a government spends so much time repeating a lie, the rest of us are forced to spend equal time rebutting them. And since the available attention span for news from Poland is so limited in the English speaking world, vital stores get buried because we have to

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Books