• The State of Democracy in Poland and Europe

    Author: Lech Wałęsa
    Institution: President of Poland, 1990–1995 & the Noble Peace Prize Laureate in 1983
    Year of publication: 2016
    Source: Show
    Pages: 157-165
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/45/ppsy2016012.pdf

    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 Role of Trauma in Romania’s Ontological Security

    Author: Loretta C. Salajan
    Institution: Vasile Goldis Western University in Arad (Romania)
    Year of publication: 2018
    Source: Show
    Pages: 67–76
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/47-1/ppsy2018105.pdf

    This paper analyses Romania’s foreign policy during the first post-communist years, by employing a theoretical viewpoint based on ontological security and trauma. It uncovers the elite efforts to secure the post-totalitarian state’s identity and international course. Romania’s search for ontological security featured the articulation of narratives of victimhood, which were linked with its proclaimed western European identity. The Romanian identity narrative has long struggled between “the West” and “the East”, trying to cope with traumatic historical events. These discursive themes and ontological insecurities were crystallized in the controversy surrounding the Romanian-Soviet “Friendship Treaty” (1991). Key Romanian officials displayed different typical responses to cultural trauma and debated the state’s path to ontological security, which was reflected in the foreign policy positions. 


  • Research on Systemic Transformation in the Countries of Central Asia

    Author: Tadeusz Bodio
    Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland
    Author: Andrzej Wierzbicki
    Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 111-133
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/49-3/ppsy2020307.pdf

    The article presents the goals, tasks, organization and major stages of implementation of the international programme of research on transformation in the countries Central Asia. The research has been conducted since 1997 by a team of political scientists from the University of Warsaw in cooperation with representatives of other Polish and foreign universities.

  • National Currencies and National Identities: Historical Origins and Ironies of the Neoliberal Baltic Model

    Author: Zenonas Norkus
    Institution: Vilnius University
    Year of publication: 2014
    Source: Show
    Pages: 40-66
    DOI Address:
    PDF: kie/106/kie10603.pdf

    During recent economic crisis 2008 – 2010, the economic policy of internal devaluation in the Baltic States earned the applause of exponents of the neoliberal orthodoxy. How to explain the choice and ability of the Baltic States to maintain the fixed exchange parity? Economists look for conventional costbenefit calculation. The paper advances culturalist NeoWeberian argument, elaborating the concept of “nation neoliberalism” of Henri Vogt and the research of Eric Helleiner on the contribution of national currencies to the modern nation building. Because of the destruction of the national Baltic States by Soviet occupation in 1940, postcommunist transformation in the Baltic States was restitutionally oriented. Hard national currency, modelled after “that old good Litas, Lats, or Kroon” of the interwar time became a central symbol of national identity along with national flag, anthem and coat of arms. This “monetization” of the Baltic identities predisposed indigenous Baltic peoples to embrace the neoliberal model of capitalism and to accept the cost of the defence of currency peg during the crisis. The success was ironically selfdefeating, as it enabled Baltic nations to join European Monetary Union, which conclusively disenchants the money by abolishing national currencies.

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