• Boycott of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games as an Example of Political Play–Acting of the Cold War Superpowers

    Sports boycott is one of the most important dimension of sport colliding with politics. The subject of the article is the boycott of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, one of the most spectacular boycotts, which was conducted by communist countries. It is widely recognized, that Los Angeles Olympics were boycotted as a result of a similar action by Western countries towards Moscow Olympics in 1980. However, evidence proves that there was no decision concerning communist boycott of Los Angeles Olympics until a few months before the Games. Preparations to the Olympics were on their way, but unexpected change of Soviet leader resulted in the boycott. Safety reasons were the declared reason for the boycott of the Soviet Union and 13 other communist countries. Nevertheless, it is evident that the real reasons were connected with the political game of USSR. The probable actual aims were the desire to hit the first ever privately financed Olympic Games and to make it harder for American president Ronald Raegan to be reelected. Naturally, at least partly it was also a matter of revenge for boycotting the Moscow Games.

  • Globalization — Politics — Education

    In the contemporary world, the development of education is given special importance. Education is considered as a basic force of civilization changes. Interdisciplinary education, focused on innovation, is seen as a necessary challenge to cultural changes. The level of education is becoming an increasingly important factor in determining the economic, political and social behaviour as well as values shaping systems. Currently, educational challenges are of interest to different actors of cultural life. They draw attention to the types of education, institutional arrangements, curricula, the teachers image, educators and students, teaching methods, forms of extracurricular education, financial aspects, etc. These issues are awakening big disputability, and even controversy, both political factors, responsible for shaping educational policy and public opinion, including teachers and researchers interested in various aspects of education. There is on the one hand – pursuance to preserve tradition, cultivating patterns developed in the historical process and enrich them through the elements of civilization challenges and on the other hand – promotes belief in the need for education outgoing to meet civilization challenges of education called modern, rejecting the existing patterns of development; moreover, in a Polish cultural reality, the traditional school model is known as a little – friendly institution for teacher and student. 

  • International Academic Conference Report: Contemporary Latin America . Politics – Society – Economy (Toruń, April 18–19, 2011)

    On April 18–19, 2011 the University Library in Toruń hosted an international academic conference entitled Contemporary Latin America. Politics – Society – Economy (Współczesna Ameryka Łacińska. Polityka – społeczeństwo – gospodarka). The conference was organised by the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Studies of the Nicolas Copernicus University under the honorary patronage of the Marshal of the KujawskoPomorskie Voivodeship Piotr Całbecki, the President of Toruń Michał Zaleski, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Peru in Toruń Stanisław Rakowicz, Ph. D. and the Rector of the NCU Prof. Andrzej Radzimiński, Ph. D. The participants represented higher education facilities from all over Poland as well as the international organisation, Community of Democracies.

  • On formation of method in political science

    It is widely recognised, that the status of any scientific discipline is vitally determined by its methodological autonomy. These are theoretical rules on the acquirement of information about a given reality, its definitions, systematization, clarification and interpretation. It is a specific challenge with regards to political science, which stems from the subject of knowledge, the politics. This realm is known to humanity from the onset of structure-shaping and institutionalisation of social life, and since ancient times attempts at its theoretical clarification are being undertaken. It has taken an important place within philosophical thought, historical and legal analysis. This reality led to political science becoming an integrating platform for knowledge from areas of political and social philosophy, law, economy, history. This integration has made cognitive challenges superficial and as a consequence raised such questions as: is political science a scientific discipline? The unfavourable image was revealed as it was included in broad process of political education of society.

  • The Unfulfilled Promise? Deliberative Democracy vs. Political Participation

    The article aims to, first, critically assess the idea and practice of deliberative democracy and, second, find it a proper place in the democratic theory. I start with defining the concept as it emerges from the works of some of its most prominent proponents (such as Fishkin, Cohen or Habermas), reiterating several of the important arguments in support of it. I then present various criticisms of deliberative democracy, regarding philosophical assumptions that inform it (the idea of common good, the conditions of rational deliberation etc.) and its modus operandi (its alleged procedural superiority over aggregative methods). I then off er further criticism of deliberative democracy as a model of democracy, an alternative to the dominant model of representative democracy, arguing from its ineff ectiveness in influencing political decisions. Instead, in the final section, I propose to establish deliberation as one of the two criteria of classifi cation and assessment of democratic systems, thus restoring its importance in the democratic theory.

  • Contemporary Polish Diaspora in the Republic of South Africa and its attitude towards politics

    The article focuses, first and foremost, on attitude of the Polish Diaspora in the RSA towards socio-political situation in country of settlement. In solving problem particular attention is drawn to the attitude of the Polish Diaspora to political transition in South Africa. Relation to this process is portrayed by engagement of the Polish Diaspora in building new political order after apartheid – multiethnic democracy called New South Africa, among others through its participation in parliamentary elections, referendums and membership in political parties. Conclusions concentrate on conditions and effects of the Polish Diaspora participation in political life in country of settlement.

  • What American people can tell – freedom of speech in United States

    Freedom of possessing and expressing own ideas and opinions and their dissemination is one of the fundamental rights, that entitled to each person. In addition to this, the freedom enables searching and getting information. Thanks to it, the right to express your own identity, selfrealization and aspiring to truth are guaranteed. It is one of the basic premise and the necessary condition to realize the idea of democracy. In the United States, the cradle of civil rights and modern democracy, the freedom of expression is guaranteed in the First Amendment to American Constitution (Bill of Rights), enacted in 1789 (came into force in 1791). On its virtue, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of (…) the freedom of speech, or of the press (…).” Although the record suggested that this freedom is absolute, (not restricted of any legislation), the later jurisdiction of the US Supreme Court (by case law) isolated categories of utterances that have not been contained by the First Amendment. ! e essential issues are answers on the following questions: in the name of what values Congress can limit the First Amendment? And where is the border of freedom of speech? One of the expressions that are not protected by the law is fi ghting words and hate words. The second are libel and slanders that are understood as a infringement of somebody’s rights.

  • The Attributes of the Fourth Estate. In the Area of Medial Theories and Politics

    The term “Fourth Estate” is becoming more and more common and acquires various connotations. It seems that processes of mediatisation of politics and tabloidisation of the media greatly contribute to phenomenon. Numerous examples of that sort are provided by the permanent election campaigns in Poland, mutual relationship between different types of media and political public relations, as well as the relationship between the media and the ruling coalition.

  • The Role of the Internet in Contemporary Democracies

    Recent worldwide convergence of telecommunication and information technologies and dynamic development of mass media lead to noticeable changes in functioning of contemporary countries and societies. Currently, modern information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) begin to play greater role and filter down to almost every field of contemporary human life becoming a very popular subject of researches. Information revolution, that is a rapid technological development, within the scope of computers, communication processes and so" ware (involving substantial decrease in the costs of processing and sharing information), is the driving force behind globalisation. As a result, many social spheres of men remain greatly influenced by modern technologies. Easy access to information (being a consequence of development of the Internet, television and mobile communications) affects millions of people in the world, and also changes rules of social life in a broader perspective. Increasingly greater social impact of telecommunication and information technologies and growing political importance of the Internet (as a form of ICT) seem to be vital arguments that substantiate the usefulness of this study. The aim was to answer question about influence of the Internet on political life, and thus its application into contemporary democracies. Answers to the above questions should be backed up with data concerning the usage of ICT (mostly the Internet) in various political processes. The further analysis include three phenomena: informing, communicating and voting. 

  • The Prospects of the Grand Coalition in Germany

    The pressure for reforms is similar in all established democracies, including Germany. This is true for all policies. Lower income caused by economic development and ageing societies is a burden on all budgets. ! is increases the pressure on political actors to speed up the decision-making process. In 2005 the grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD was welcomed by the German people. Many commentators assumed that the political deadlock would be overcome by the government of the two major parties. Because the second chamber (Bundesrat) is the major veto-player in the German federal system, the current CDU/CSU majority in the Bundesrat was a high hurdle for the former red-green government (1998 to 2005), as until 2006 about 80 percent of all laws had to pass the second chamber. This led to early elections. People hope that the grand coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel will overcome this restriction, which the SPD-led government could not evade. 

  • Populism and National Identity

    Populism became a signi! cant factor of political debates in Eastern and Western countries of the EU and a new force in European party systems in the nineties. The frame for the discussion on populism is made by the representative form of democracy and responding to it dual system of media of communication. The popularity of populist parties and movements nowadays reflects the crisis of representative democracy. It is accompanied by the growing role of media in politics, which might be seen as the result of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the existing models of intermediation. The media also play a crucial role in the process of identity creation, at the same moment they illustrate the dificulty of defining identity anew.

  • New research perspectives in Politics and Law A Few Side Observations on the 21st IVR World Congress

  • The Chinese People’s Republic Investment Engagement in Belarus and Ukraine after 2010

    The purpose of this article is to present and compare China’s economic, political and military involvement in Ukraine and Belarus, with particular emphasis on their role in the global expansion of the PRC. China after the opening of the economy to the world in the early 1980s, immediately became one of the most important elements of the global economy. The article will attempt an analysis of Chinese investments on the Dnieper, but also the political and military aspects of this cooperation.

  • Kobieta w wielu rzeczywistościach

    W tekście wskazuje się, że wiedza o równości płci, o rolach pełnionych w wielu rzeczywistościach kulturowo-cywilizacyjnych jest spowita w sferze mitów i stereotypów.Aktywność kulturowa i cywilizacyjna kobiet zdeterminowana jest poziomem instytucjonalnym uprawianym przez podmioty życia publicznego (Kościół, szkołę, władzę państwową, partyjne, organizacje społeczne). Świat wartości kulturowych sytuuje kobiety w tradycyjnym nurcie życia domowego, emocjonalnego, aspiracji społeczno-politycznych pozostających w zależnościach paternalistycznych. Deklaracje profeministyczne ujawniające się od XIX w. do współczesności nie wpływają w praktyce życia kulturowego znacząco na położenie kobiet w sferze życia zarówno politycznego, jak i ekonomicznego. Najbardziej znaczącą siłą w tym względzie są prawa człowieka,
    Duże znaczenie do zmian w sferze nierówności płci mają procesy globalizacji i jednocześnie dywersyfikacji życia kulturowego. Z jednej strony wiąże się to z upodmiotowieniem jednostki, kształtowaniem jej partycypatywności; z drugiej zaś międzynarodowymi rozwiązaniami prawnymi, synkretyzmem, koniecznością globalnego rozwiązywania problemów jednostki, jak i ludzkości.

  • Kwestia migracji w polityce współczesnej Austrii

    Austria jest krajem, który w swej polityce kieruje się (w przeszłości i obecnie) pragmatyzmem, tj. interesem narodowym, będącym wyznacznikiem tego, co jest akceptowalne, a co nie. Interes narodowy jest istotnym faktorem w ramach uprawianej tam polityki migracyjnej i nie ma znaczenia czy chodzi o imigrantów ekonomicznych, czy o uchodźców. Od lat 60. XX w. Austria jest postrzegana jako miejsce, w którym można znaleźć lepsze życia. To dlatego przybywali tam licznie gastarbeiterzy z Jugosławii i Turcji. Politycy austriaccy podejmowali działania mające na celu kontrolowanie napływu robotników cudzoziemskich – preferowano tych przydatnych dla miejscowej gospodarki, a jednocześnie niestanowiących zagrożenia dla rodzimej siły roboczej. Z podobną sytuacją mamy do czynienia w czasach obecnych. Imigranci mają nie tylko ekonomiczne, lecz także polityczne znaczenie. Partie lewicowe postrzegają w nich okazję do wzmocnienia swych wpływów. Z szeregów imigranckich wywodzą się bowiem w większości ich wyborcy. Partie prawicowe starają się zaś pozyskać przychylną opinię tej części elektoratu, która nie godzi się na przyjmowanie większej ilości przybyszów. Specyficznym aspektem austriackiego pragmatyzmu jest wypowiadanie krytycznych opinii wobec państw Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej, które nie wspierają niemieckiej willkommenskultur. Austria, która w przeszłości była postrzegana jako most łączący Wschód z Zachodem, straciła w oczach krytykowanych krajów, w tym Polski.

  • Od liniowości do złożoności. Nowy paradygmat w naukach społecznych i politycznych

    Artykuł stanowi krótkie omówienie zagadnienia złożoności w naukach społecznych i politycznych. Zawiera refleksję dotyczącą paradygmatycznych wyzwań, przed jakimi stoi dyscyplina nauk społecznych, które zostały zaprezentowane w Raporcie Komisji Gulbenkiana na rzecz restrukturyzacji nauk społecznych. Postuluje on przełamanie przestarzałego podziału pomiędzy naukami przyrodniczymi i społecznymi oraz wprowadzenie bardziej holistycznego, interdyscyplinarnego podejścia do badanych zjawisk, struktur i procesów. W artykule staram się dowieść, że jest to możliwe do osiągnięcia dzięki szerszej adaptacji paradygmatu złożoności. Zostały przedstawione podstawowe założenia teorii złożoności, zwłaszcza w kontekście jej relacji z teorią chaosu, oraz cechy węzłowe systemów złożonych. Ponadto zarysowano także pewne wątki złożoności obecne w badaniach politologicznych.

  • Znaczenie rodziny królewskiej w praktyce ustrojowej i politycznej monarchii arabskich: Arabii Saudyjskiej, Jordanii i Maroka

    Constitutional and political role of the royal family in Arab monarchies – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco

    The article aims to explain the constitutional and political role of the royal family in three Arab monarchies: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco. The introduction discusses the typology of monarchy, including the division into individual monarchies with the marginal role of the royal family and monarchies where the royal family holds a significant position. Through the use of a comparative method, the article analyses the constitutional position of the royal family according to the normative acts of the studied states. The next part of the article attempts to answer the following questions: what place does the royal family occupy in the political system of their country? do its members have individual competences or share them with other state authorities? The importance of factors such as religion and family history will be emphasized. In addition, the author will indicate areas of social and political life that may be influenced by members of the royal family.

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