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National Memory and Divisive Narrative Building in Poland’s 2010 Presidential Election

Abstract

This paper employs the 2010 Polish presidential election as a case study to explore the implications of memory politics, examining the Law and Justice party’s (PiS) use of national memory ahead of the June election. Through process tracing, this paper finds that the Smolensk Air Crash became the central theme of this race, which pitted Civic Platform (PO) candidate Bronisław Komorowski against the late President Lech Kaczynski’s twin brother, PiS’s Jarosław Kaczynski. Amplified by the media, PiS selectively drew on easily recognisable events and figures from Polish history to construct an “Us versus Them” conflict of “true Polish patriots” - those who supported the party and its anti-Russian stance - and “Others” - those who, although sympathetic to the crash victims, favoured Tusk and his push for renewed Polish-Russian relations. The primary goal of this paper is to demonstrate how a historical memory approach can inform the study of contemporary politics - a subject which is too oft en left solely to social scientists.

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Process Tracing in Evaluating Innovation in Sub-Regional Governance. Case Study of Selected Integrated Territorial Investments in Poland

Abstract

Integrated Territorial Investments (ITIs) are a new integration tool that binds the thematic objectives defined operational programmes with the territorial dimension. Due to their formula, ITIs may be seen as a kind of innovation in sub-regional governance. The European Commission considers them as an opportunity to introduce solutions that can be effective in facing the challenges of contemporary development on a supra-local scale. Accordingly, they should be regarded as a possibility for Member States to activate innovative governance arrangements that will allow for the implementation of projects, which - depending on the country - more or less reflect issues indicated by the Commission as a priority. In Poland, the Integrated Territorial Investments are implemented in 24 functional areas. Due to a new approach to cities and their role in development processes in the country, they can mean a new opening for the urban policy and urban development. Concentrating on innovative governance arrangements, the aim of this paper is to analyze selected case studies of 4 ITIs implemented by large (more than 500,000 inhabitants) provincial cities: Wrocław, Łódź, Gdańsk, Katowice, which are capitals of regions in which one defined a different development potential. Th e analysis will allow the formulation of answers to the following research questions: • Are there any innovative governance arrangements indicated during ITIs implementation? • What are the implemented modes of sub-regional governance? • What is the role and importance of institutional actors in the process of ITIs governance? • What are their new competences linked to the ITIs implementation? • Are there any new products/services related to innovation in sub-regional governance? • Do ITIs consider principles of “good governance” a one of key factors of innovation in governance? Th e paper contains key definitions and points out processes related to the transition of modes of governance at the sub-regional level. It also indicates further challenges in Polish territorial development upon Europeanisation.

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Regulations Regarding the Spelling of National Minorities’ Names in the Documents and the Protection of the State Language in Latvia and Lithuania

Abstract

The goal of this article is to compare the Latvian and Lithuanian provisions regarding the spelling of names of the members of the national minorities. Lithuanians often state an opinion, that provisions in both countries are very similar, and Latvian Poles cannot use the original form of their names. The legal comparative methods have been used. In the paper the most important provisions of both countries were analyzed: Constitution, state language law, law on the state language commission and the special regulations on the spelling of the names. Also, the problems with the national minorities law were analyzed. This comparison led to the discovery of differences in the Lithuanian and Latvian provisions regarding the spelling of names. Another factor which had been taken into account is the standing of the international bodies on those regulations. It has been presented by showing most important cases regarding Latvia and Lithuania. Above mentioned means allowed the author to verify the thesis that Latvian and Lithuanian provisions are similar. Both legal systems have also been criticized.

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Testing Turkey’s Place Within the Maps of Global Economic, Political and Social Values

Abstract

Following the attempt by Alesina and Guiliano (2013) to measure global culture and to project these measurements onto real choropleth geographical world maps, we utilize the data from the World Values Survey (WVS) to arrive at robust measurement scales of global economic, political and social values and to assess Turkey’s place within them. Our study, which is based on 92,289 representative individuals with complete data in 68 countries, representing 56.89% of the global population, looks at hard-core economic values in these countries. From our new nine dimensions for the determination of the geography of human values, based on a promax factor analysis of the available data, we use six factor analytical scores to calculate a new Global Value Development Index, which combines: avoiding economic permissiveness; avoiding racism; avoiding distrust of the army and the press; avoiding the authoritarian character; tolerance and respect; and avoiding the rejection of the market economy and democracy. Turkey is ranked 25, ahead of several EU member countries. But there are still considerable deficits concerning the liberal values components, which are very important for effective democracy, and there are very large regional differences, confirming the dictum by Huntington (1996) about Turkey as a torn country.

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‘Assistance from A to Z’ as an Innovative Social Investment in Action. Evaluation of a Case Study

Abstract

The aim of the article is to present a case study of the implementation of innovative social investment in the area of social inclusion. The case study analysed, namely the project Assistance from „A” to „Z”Professional activation of homeless people from Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society, refers to the social and vocational integration of homeless people at the municipal level in Poland. The authors hypothesize that innovative social investments are key to the success of the policy of social inclusion, which requires new, innovative ideas to empower people at risk of exclusion.

The article uses the case study method and the method of desk research, in which an analysis of the strategy documents, source materials and activities was carried out. The results were subjected to critical analysis, using the achievements of research in the field of social investment, social innovation and social inclusion policy. The paper is the result of partial studies carried out within the framework of the research project Innovative Social Investment: Strengthening communities in Europe (InnoSI), financed by the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.

As a result, one has to consider the question “What works?”. The analysis showed the accompaniment method to be the most effective tool in the project’s actions and one which may be disseminated as a recommendation for social investment. The question “How?” brought evidence that the existing set of activities and their sequence (integrity and complexity) was appropriate, necessary and effective from the perspective of beneficiaries, the Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society and stakeholders. Considering the question “In what circumstances?”, the key element was related to the leadership offered by the Wroclaw Circle St. Brother Albert Aid Society, which was running the implementation of the project. As a conclusion, one can formulate the cautious thesis that the outcomes can to some extent be generalized, particularly at the level of other local entities in Poland or in other countries/regions of Central and Eastern Europe, which have a similar welfare model (e.g. the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia).

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The Evolution of Presidential Powers in Albanian Constitutions 1991 and 1998 According to the Frye Index

Abstract

The article describes the changes in the president’s position in Albania over the years, starting with the democratic transition in the early 1990s. The work consists of three elements: (1) theoretical framework about measuring presidential power and institutionalization of the president (2) the Presidential competence index provided by T. Frye (3) the analysis of the reasons for the presidency implementation in Albania. The author considered two Constitutions acts that were valid in a given moment. The paper takes into consideration the analysis of legal (constitutional) factors that influenced the destabilization of political systems emerging in post-communist countries according to Frye Index.

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External and Internal Policies of Belarus After Crimea Annexation

Abstract

Within the last few years, significant changes have taken place in the geopolitical and economic spheres of Europe: Euromaidan, annexation of the Crimea in the East, and problems inside the European Union (issue of migrants, Brexit) in the West. These changes had their impact on Belarus, a country situated between Russia and the EU. Conflict between Ukraine and Russia shook the Belarusian economy. Belarusian authorities were afraid about unexpected Russian steps towards Minsk and about social unrest against their own authoritarian president. All of this forced Alexander Lukashenko to search for new solutions in his policies. During recent months, it was possible to observe the change of a political discourse with Poland, attempts of a cautious cooperation with Russia (which is still Belarus’ main ally), and a search for new sources of finances and energy suppliers. The present situation is a new challenge for Belarusian authorities and even for foreign observers. For inhabitants of the country, the situation is not comfortable.

This article aims to present, based on selected sources, the synthesis of actions that were taken in the external and internal politics by the Belarusian authorities after the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

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Political and National Identity in Ukraine’s Regions: Where Does the Center Fit?

Abstract

This article is devoted to the issue of national identity and political preferences of the region of Central Ukraine. The essence of the “in-the-middle” position is tested using a national representative survey known as “Ukrainian Society” for the period of 2000–2012. This longitudinal survey allows for the delineation of tendencies of well-articulated political identities. This includes Galicia being compared to Crimea and Donbas. In this study these areas are compared to those of the Center, a region with an identity lacking thorough study. The specific trends in the development of a national identity and of political preferences are defined and compared within rural and urban populations in the analysed regions. The Center was chosen as a comparison to other Ukrainian regions as it characterizes the mobilization of political support in the formative years of Ukraine, commencing with the Orange Revolution in the fall of 2004.

Open access