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Polish Political Science Review
Polski Przeglad Politologiczny
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Counter Terrorism in the 21st Century and the Role of the European Union

Abstract

Terrorism is designed, as it has always been, to have profound psychological repercussions on a target audience and to undermine confidence in government and leadership. Nevertheless, after the 9/11 attacks, it is possible to claim that terrorism has changed and the European Union’s response, along with the world one, has also changed. By means of discursive analysis, this paper aims at exploring the complexity of the new threats that terrorism poses to the globalised world by combining 21st century technologies with the most extreme reading and vision of the clash of civilisation. The analysis will then proceed with an assessment of the change of approach that has guided EU action in the aftermath of 9/11 and with a critical examination of the issue of global actorness.

Open access
The Role of Voluntary Organisations in Constructing the Common Identity and Mobilising of Polish Community in Southeastern Lithuania

Abstract

This paper is based on a series of qualitative (semi-structured) interviews conducted by the author with representatives of Polish civic organisations in southeastern Lithuania (the towns of Eišiškės, Jašiūnai, Pabradė, Šalčininkai, Švenčionys, Švenčionėliai, and Turgeliai). Data was collected from January 2013 to June 2014 as part of a research project to investigate ethnic, civic, regional, and local identities of ethnic minorities in southeastern Lithuania. The project was carried out by the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre and was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. The paper discusses the role of voluntary organisations operating in Southeastern Lithuania in mobilising the Polish community. The author investigates the activity of Polish organisations as they maintain and construct the identity (ethnic, civic, local and regional) of local community. Part of the research strategy is to recognise the content and means by which these organisations appeal to collective memory to create and affirm Polish identity. An analysis of interview data shows that the activities of organisations predominantly target the Polish community and their aims are to promote and foster Polish culture, language, and history. The Polish civic and political organisations and their leaders play active roles in identity building and mobilising the Polish Community in southeastern Lithuania. Referencing and recalling collective memories of the Polish ethnic group is an important tool for building a collective identity that lack local and regional dimensions.

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The Rules on Political Parties in Romania Under Comparative Scrutiny

Abstract

This article is based on two premises. First, the requirements for establishing political parties in Romania are the most restrictive in Europe. When a party has succeeded to register and took a non-ideological position, the electoral participation slightly increased. If the requirements for registering political parties were relaxed, new parties could emerge while greater participation to the elections is under question. The current legal procedure for registering political parties is contrary to Article 40 of the Constitution (the right to association) and the requirement according to which a political party wishing to participate in parliamentary elections must make a deposit is contrary to Article 37 of the Constitution (the right to be elected). Proving the validity of these premises leads to the necessity of changing the current normative framework in the sense of relaxing the requirements for the registration of political parties. This change may be accomplished by a draft law (which is already registered in the parliament) or by the intervention of the Constitutional Court.

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Soviet Manipulation of the Memory of the Lithuanian Guerrilla War

Abstract

The paper analyses the transformation of the collective memory of the Lithuanian guerrilla war (1944–1953) during the Soviet occupation. The problem that arises on observation of the collective memory of Guerrilla war period is the disparity between the sense and meaning of the guerilla war as it was happening and the shapes of its memory that emerged at the beginning of the perestrojka and the reestablishment of the independence. The shift from the high support for the resistance and it’s goals in the 50’s to the ignorance of it can be observed, as well as the changing of the perception of it as the fight between two sovereign countries (Lithuania and the SSRS) towards the internal conflict in Lithuanian society. The paper raises the question about the reasons for this transformation and the impact of Soviet propaganda (expanding it to the scope of “historical culture” in Jorn Rüsen terms). The research of one peculiar sphere of soviet historical culture, that is, the building of monuments and carrying out of the related memorial practices, proved, that the forms and the intensity of the development of the soviet narrative of the Lithuanian Guerrilla war were poor and inconsequential. Such a results support the hypothesis that the soviet historical culture was not decisive in transformation of a collective memory, and that suggests to pay more attention not to the actions of the regime, but to sociological, sociohistorical and anthropological research of Lithuanian soviet society.

Open access
Urban Policy in Election Campaigns – The Case of the Presidents of the Biggest Cities of Lower Silesia

Abstract

The main aim of the article is to present the relationship between urban policy and the marketing activity of the presidents of Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Legnica, and Jelenia Góra during the period of the 2014 local government election campaign. Analysis of the marketing activity of the presidents, conducted via chosen social media, enables presentation of the most important conditions and reasons for using urban policy in the competition for the support of citizens – potential voters. First, it will show that the marketing actions of a president during an election campaign are not the means of creating the image of a city but gaining the support of voters. Second, the analysis will prove that the election message constructed by presidents is based on the actions conducted in the various areas of urban policy.

Open access
The Character of the Polish Local and Regional Elections – Polytonality

Abstract

Contemporary Polish local and regional elections serve the purpose of electing the government on the level of a municipality, county, and the voivodeship, and therefore represent a particular type of elections which could be referred to as polytonal. A unique quality of polytonal elections is the fact that the separate elections for each of the levels of local/regional government that take place on a single day are quite distinctive in terms of the behaviour of voters, politicians, political parties, and other organisations participating in the elections. As a consequence, we can indeed observe differences in the results of the elections on the level of municipality, county, and voivodeship.

Open access
From the Concept to the Practice of Parliamentary Immunity

Abstract

Scholars have long debated the normative rationality, the temporal and legal aspects, and finally the limits and modern practices of parliamentary immunity. Therefore, this study does not insist on these classical interpretations anymore, but seeks to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual history of parliamentary immunity. Embracing two schools of thought, the Koselleckian interpretation and the Skinnerian variant, this paper aims to establish and clarify in detail the story of the concept of parliamentary immunity in order to elucidate, in a Socratic fashion, what we really mean when we say that a senator or a deputy benefits from legislative immunity. This inquiry will help us emphasise how this concept leaves behind its abstract notion and becomes an institution with strict rules and practices. In addition, considering the importance of this concept in the modern legislative and rhetoric histories and the frequency with which it is used, this study will question the meanings of parliamentary immunity in the light of different historical settings and will eventually trace out a single, coherent, and unified conceptual matrix. My contention is that once parliamentary immunity – seen as a conceptual construct only adjusting the balance of power between the executive and the legislative powers – becomes an institution with strong practices, it enforces the parliament as a unified and independent body and creates the prerequisite conditions for the democratic development.

Open access