Weakening of Democratic Standards in Poland 2005-2007
- Issue date
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2008, nr 2, s. 183-195.
"The peaceful political change of 1989 and early 1990s opened a new chapter in the political history of Central and Eastern Europe. For the two following decades, the process of introducing and implementing democratic standards has been steady and firm. Stages of this process: economic liberalisation, transition to democratic institutions and their consolidation, as mentioned by J. Rupnik, must be assumed as a cumulative process, in the sense that once a given stage is achieved there is no turning back. Undoubtedly, all Central and East European countries have passed through all stages of the transition process. Disturbances appeared suddenly, after two decades of a relatively steady march towards western standards of democracy. In Poland and Slovakia, populist parties were elected. In Bulgaria, advancing populists were stopped by an unlikely coalition of the former king Simeon and ex-communists. In Hungary, violent demonstrations followed a political scandal that revealed how the government had lied to the public. In the Czech Republic, political impasse led to seven months without government. Definitely, Poland cannot be seen as an exception. It should be rather considered as the country focusing general political frustration of the last stage of democratic transition in Central and East European countries. Frustration together with populism poses an imminent threat to the fundamental rules of democracy. To avoid generalisation, it is necessary to specify which aspects of democracy and at which stages were threatened by populist movements."(...)
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