democratisation

  • Remembrance, Identity Politics and Political Transitions: a Comparative Study

    The paper presents findings of the comparative study on relationships between remembrance story-telling and the transitional reconstruction of political identities. It identifies in which areas and fields of impact governments tend to use interpretations of the past to promote new leadership visions of society. Moreover, it verifies theoretical hypotheses related to the politicised remembrance and its role as a political asset during transformations, as well as it considers the theoretical framework of democracy-building (and a common prediction of its universal character). As a result, the study offers a detailed picture of the way remembrance narratives are transformed into explanations, justifications or legitimisation of new, post-authoritarian identities based on qualitative-to-quantitative analysis of the intensity of story-telling and its links with transitional identity politics. In the conclusion, the Authors present their consideration of research findings, and they discuss it with reference to the nature of transitional government’s remembrance policy as a sphere of social influence. 

  • South African Post–Apartheid Transitional Remembrance Policy (1994–1999)

    The paper presents results of the qualitative–to–quantitative narrative analysis of the transitional remembrance policy in South Africa during Nelson R. Mandela’s presidency. It refers to findings on the structure of political applications of historical interpretations to the issue of national identity reconstruction during democratisation. Therefore, the paper considers a degree in which remembrance story–telling was used to legitimise, justify, explain and promote the Rainbow Nation, the inclusive and non–racial vision of South Africa’s ’ideal self’ based on Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s theology of Ubuntu hoping. It investigated these relationships on eight levels – legitimisation of new elites, presence of former elites, transitional justice, social costs of transformations, promotion of new standards, the symbolic roles of democratisation, need for national unity and the new state’s identity in international politics. Moreover, the paper introduces a draft comparison with other cases of transitional remembrance policy – Chile, Estonia, Georgia, Poland and Spain – and it offers the structural model of the use of historical interpretations in South African transition, as well as discussing it with reference to the general model of the transitional remembrance policy. 

  • The State of Democracy in Poland and Europe

    The exclusive interview with Mr Lech Wałęsa, the legendary leader of “Solidarity” Trade Union, the Noble Peace Prize Laureate in 1983 and the President of Poland from 1990 to 1995, on the state of democracy in Poland and Europe, presents Mr Wałęsa’s perspective on challenges that contemporary political leaders have to face. It discusses four major areas: a historical consideration of Poland’s post-communist transformation, a today’s perspective on democracy in Poland, an evaluation of country’s role in united Europe and a discussion of processes that threaten democracy in Poland and Europe. In the interview, Mr Wałęsa shares his hopes and fears, and he presents main ideas for the new political times. His assessments do not focus only on the today’s state of democracy, but he also tries to consider how the democracy may look like in the future. As a result, the Polish Political Science Yearbook publishes a unique conversation with the legend of the struggle against Communist dictatorships in Europe that shows Mr Wałęsa’s personal remarks on the democracy, the globalised World and modern technologies. 

  • The Remembrance Policy and Political Identities during Post-Authoritarian Transformations

    Book Review: Joanna Marszałek-Kawa, Anna Ratke-Majewska & Patryk Wawrzyński, Polityka pamięci i kształtowanie tożsamości politycznej w czasie tranzycji postautorytarnej. Analiza porównawcza (Tom 2). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Difin 2016 (pp. 167). ISBN 978-83-8085-209-9. Price: 50.00 PLN.

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