Poland in the Modern World

The Board is Set

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After weeks of negotiations, it is finally clear what choices the Polish electorate will face during the elections this coming fall. There will be four significant blocs: Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, or PiS): the radical-right nationalist party of Jarosław Kaczyński that has ruled the country since 2015 Koalicja Obywatelska (Civic Coalition, or KO):

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How to Remember 1989

The following essay was just published by The Global Post Thirty years ago, on June 4, 1989, there were free elections in Poland – the first multiparty elections since WWII, and the beginning of a cascade of events that culminated in the collapse of all the communist regimes of Eastern Europe. Two years later, the USSR itself

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Is Democracy Doomed in Poland?

In the aftermath of last week’s EU elections in Poland, there has been an abundance of lamentation and jeremiads by commentators on the left and center-left. Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS) achieved its greatest electoral success ever, both in absolute and relative terms. Last Fall, during local and regional

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Dark Clouds

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After last fall’s local and regional elections in Poland, the democratic opposition entered 2019 with great hopes. Despite receiving slightly fewer votes overall, the largest opposition group was able to win control of virtually every city in the country, and nearly all the larger towns as well. The EU elections today were supposed to be

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The Adamowicz Assassination

I am finding it impossible to write a calm, dispassionate reaction to the events of the past few days in Poland. Perhaps I will return to this issue later with more distance. Right now I am sad, outraged, and afraid. If anyone needs further evidence of the dangers posed by the PiS government in Poland,

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Surrender or Tactical Retreat?

The news arrived with its own metaphor: on the eve of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, the Polish government abandoned its attempt to purge the Supreme Court of independent judges. This particular chapter in the story of Poland’s descent into authoritarianism began last July, when a new law forced into retirement all Supreme Court judges

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