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.

  • Promotion of National Heroes as Civic Role-Models during Democratisation

    The paper considers the relationship between remembrance narratives on national heroes and proliferation of political attitudes, values and behaviours during democratisation. It discusses the impact of interpretations of the past on the development of civil society in the context of public education as an instrument of identity politics. Comparing the experiences of Chile, Estonia, Georgia, Poland, South Africa and Spain, the authors present the role of national heroes in the legitimisation of behaviours and attitudes, new elites and national unity. The discussed results prove that the establishment of a pro-democratic system of civic education increases chances for successful consolidation of democracy in post-authoritarian countries.

  • IMPACT OF SPAIN’S DEMOCRATISATION ON ITS MULTILATERAL RELATIONS

      The objective of this article is to analyse the impact of the Spanish democratic transformation on its multilateral relations. It analyses the strategies of Spanish governments in the transformation era and the process of accession to NATO, the Council of Europe and the European Communities. Source analysis and criticism methods (applied mostly to Spanish- -language texts), as well as comparative analysis were employed for the needs of this article.
      Based on her research, the author concludes that changes to Spanish foreign policy were evolutionary in nature. Therefore, it took Spain several years to regain the full confidence of its partners. Before any breakthrough changes could occur in the multilateral dimension, Spain needed to normalise its bilateral relations.
      The democratic elections conducted on the 15th of June 1977 in Spain was the breakthrough without which no accession to any important international organisation could ever happen. As the event clinched the state’s democratisation, it paved the way for Spain to join soon the Council of Europe. The accession process for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was more complex. The Spanish political scene was divided in that matter. Spain’s accession to the European Communities was the longest process. It was subject not only to the state’s democratisation progress but also to economic issues.

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