Poland in the Modern World

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

Read More

Catholicism and Polishness

As we read all the news accounts about the horrifying march of the far-right in Warsaw on November 11, let’s take a moment to remember that they do not represent Poland. They might be the loudest, and they might have support in the current government, but they have little in common with the vast majority

Read More

Independence Day

Tags : 

Tomorrow (November 11) will be celebrated in Poland as the centenary of independence. There are a bunch of reasons why this is problematic from a historian’s perspective, but I don’t want to be pedantic. Ok, yes I do. The emphasis on 1918 itself implies that there is some sort of sharp division between a time

Read More

It’s Official

The official results of the local and regional elections in Poland are now in, and the biggest story is what did not happen. The Polish Electoral Commission has confirmed results in line with the independent exit polls, and so far there have been no reports of significant voter suppression,intimidation, or fraudulent tabulation.             Perhaps the

Read More

Exit Poles

Tags : 

Exit Poles             The awful pun in the headline was too obvious to pass up. My apologies. Voting has concluded for local and regional elections in Poland. Official results won’t be available until Monday or Tuesday, but the exit polls provide us with a general sense of what happened. Turnout was extraordinary, at 51.3%. That’s more

Read More

Polish Election Preview

Tomorrow (Sunday, October 21), Poles will go the polls for local and regional elections.These are not typically viewed as high-stakes events, and turnout is usually low. This year, however, is different. Since the Law and Justice Party [Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS] came to power in 2015, they haven’t faced an electoral test, so this

Read More

Books