post–communism

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2016012
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: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2018105
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
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8873-7434
Author: Andrzej Wierzbicki
Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5493-164X
Year of publication: 2020
Source: Show
Pages: 111-133
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2020307
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: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2014.06.03
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.

Authoritarianism: Change and Continuity in the Global Perspective

Author: Ryszard Ficek
Institution: The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Year of publication: 2022
Source: Show
Pages: 87-104
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/athena.2022.75.05
PDF: apsp/75/apsp7505.pdf

The article analyzes the specificity and distinctiveness of authoritarian regimes operating in a global network of complex and multidimensional international relations. The author of the article asks the question: to what extent the dynamically changing paradigm of authoritarian ideology is responsible for the occurrence of various types of tensions, rivalries, and antagonisms caused by authoritarian regimes, the effects and consequences of which affect not only national and regional political conditions but also cause severe international repercussions? The applied research method allows exposing the complex particularity of authoritarian regimes in the context of the multidimensional dynamics of recent geopolitical changes. It is crucial when a number of modern ideological trends often downplay the brutal nature of many authoritarian systems and even treat the “authoritarian model” – especially in the form of socialist autocracies – as a “specific historical phenomenon” trying to resolve many complex and multiple political and economic issues.

Suffering into patrimony: dealing with communist repression in postcommunist Romania

Author: Claudia-Florentina Dobre
Institution: “Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History, Bucharest, Romania
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6778-3466
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 95-113
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/hso230406
PDF: hso/39/hso3906.pdf
License: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the CreativeCommons Attribution license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Analyses of communist repression in post-communist Romania focused on anticommunism and its totemic figures. Laws, institutions and people promote this perspective, transforming the suffering of the formerly politically persecuted into a patrimony meant to be preserved and passed on. On the official level, the anticommunist paradigm gained momentum in December 2006 when the communist regime was condemned as ‘criminal and illegitimate’. However, a majority of the population have not embraced the official approach to communism as the fallen regime still acts as a ‘millieu de memoire’ (as defined by Pierre Nora). My article deals with the main institutions and laws which aimed at promoting and transmitting the memory of repression in post-communist Romania. Analyzing the memory politics as regards the communist repression might provide fresh insight into the ongoing process of building a cultural memory through selection, reconstruction and adjusting figures, deeds, and memorial items.

Nicolae Iorga as everybody’s political ally in post-communist Romania

Author: Georgiana Țăranu
Institution: Ovidius University of Constanța
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7366-5869
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 114-139
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/hso230407
PDF: hso/39/hso3907.pdf
License: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the CreativeCommons Attribution license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

This chapter discusses how the memory of an influential figure of modern Romania’s history like Nicolae Iorga (1871–1940), a foremost historian-politician and nationalist intellectual, became instrumental in the three decades following the end of communism by politicians. As he is considered the father of Romanian nationalism and a symbol of the nationalist struggle on the eve of WWI, Iorga’s memory in contemporary Romania allows us to examine nationalism in politics. In the research, a qualitative approach was adopted to the subject by dealing with discourses and initiatives produced by politicians as agents of memory in post-communist Romania. By looking at the various strategies of remembrance used after 1989 by these memory entrepreneurs, the research investigates the politicians who honoured Iorga, the purpose of their engagement in such politics of memory, and what this says about how post-communist politics, nationalism and memory mingled.

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