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The Average Citizen Vs. The Court: Polish Citizens Trust in the Judiciary in the Period of Judicial Reforms (From 2015 to the Present)

Abstract

The Constitutional Crisis, which started in 2015 and has resulted in several bills aiming to “repair” the functioning of this institution, has undermined Polish citizens’ trust not only in political institutions such as the Sejm and the President but also in the judiciary. The level of trust in public institutions in general tends to be low in Polish society, but recent events and the circumstances in which the bills regarding the Constitutional Tribunal, common courts, the National Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court were passed, has led to a politicization of judicial institutions. Society, though, is very divided and opinions of the judiciary may vary and may depend on political preferences as well as many other factors.

The aim of this paper is to examine the attitude of Polish society towards the judiciary in the period of time from 2015 until now. I will also analyze the public campaign Just courts (Sprawiedliwe sądy) in the context of media content’s influence on public perception of the judiciary. The findings of this analysis could also contribute to the explanations of government’s ability to pass the bills with decreasing protest from the population even though the bills were deemed unconstitutional.

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Challenges of the Illiberal Democracy in Hungary. Some Aspects to the 2018 Elections

Abstract

Political transformation reached Hungary in parallel with other Central and Eastern European countries at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. The core of the events, the year of 1989, the so called “annus mirabilis” when, within one year almost the entire Central and Eastern European region stepped onto the path of changes. The actors adopted Western patterns within a short period, institutions of new political systems were established, and a new political power verified and consolidated its legitimacy by free elections. As a final proof of transformation, most of former socialist bloc member states joined both the NATO and the European Union. Hungary had the chance to enter in the 21st century under radically changed and much more favourable conditions than it ever had before. This smooth transformation interrupted by political and economic crisis that finally led to the victory of the opposition that managed to repeat the next elections and implemented the Programme of National Cooperation. The aim of the paper is to analyse why the adoption of the new system enjoys wide support from different social groups and how the old fixations and obsessions persisted in society. This paper also gives a brief explanation about the nature of illiberal democracy in a wider scope and link it with the history of the Hungarian democracy, the (dis) functioning institutions, and confirms the argumentation with some statistical data explaining the correlation between the support of the government and the living standards. It investigates, if the Hungarian illiberal democratic regime interpreted as consequence of the troublesome system changes or if it is rooted in the distorted political system.

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Co-Creation of Public Services in Poland in Statu Nascendi. A Case Study on Senior Co-Housing Policy at the Urban Level

Abstract

The paper impacts the current debate on governance system in Poland upon Europeanisation in terms of co-creation of public services at urban and regional level. In this context, it can be a part of a discussion on challenges related to cities’ and regions’ transition from industrial economy, society, city and government, to creative and knowledge-based ones. Due to its dynamic and vibrant character, the item can be also implemented into the debate on social and economic strengths in order to solving urgent problems in cities and city-regions linking to innovation in governance. Its clue is the concept of co-creation, which occupies an important space in the current study of European integration. However, the starting point for the considerations contained in the paper is the observation, that while it is commonly accepted that the co-creation of services with citizens and other non-governmental actors seems to be the most effective action to answer to the need for new social innovations and the growing demand for personalised services, the research agenda linked to this has investigated this aspect regarding Eastern and Central Europe not in an enough extensive way. In this regards, the paper can contribute to the field.

The aim of the paper is to present the results of the general review of key sources concerning existing knowledge in the field of co-creation in Poland, both in domestic science and institutional practice. In the paper author confronted the EU concepts of co-creation of public services, whereby the basis of this approach was the participation of stakeholders in the decision-making processes as a crucial element of co-governance. In the paper a local case study will be discussed on the basis of social housing policy in Wrocław, the 4th biggest city in Poland.

The proposed paper is a part of the international research performed upon the project “Co-Creation of Public Innovation in Europe” (acronym “CoSIE”) financed upon Horizon 2020.

Open access
Digitalization and Political Party Life in Poland – A Study of Selected Communication Habits of Party Members and Elective Representatives

Abstract

The article discusses the influence of digitalization on the organization of a political party and on its members. It presents an analysis of factors limiting and facilitating the development of a political party connected with the use of digital media. The analyses employ data gathered through quantitative and qualitative research conducted among backbenches, members of parliament and leaders of six Polish political parties. A positive connection has been demonstrated between a party’s age and the mode of using particular media types and communication tools. Also, attention has been paid to the phenomenon of digital divide and the possible means of connectivity to party political activity via new technologies, digital tools and digital media. Party members perceive traditional and direct forms as attractive; however, new parties with younger members clearly expect and practice more online activities.

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The Extended Nation as a Political Project – Hungarian Diaspora Living in Western Canada

Abstract

Policy towards Hungarians living in neighbouring countries has been a central issue for Hungarian governments, yet Hungarian diaspora living mainly in Western Europe and North America have received very little attention. This has changed after the 2010 landslide victory of Fidesz. The new government introduced a structured policy focused on engaging Hungarian diaspora, largely due to the nationalist rhetoric of the governing party. The article argues that this change reflects a turn of Hungarian nationalism into what Ragazzi and Balalowska (2011) have called post-territorial nationalism, where national belonging becomes disconnected from territory. It is because of this new conception of Hungarian nationalism that we witness the Hungarian government approach Hungarian communities living in other countries in new ways while using new policy tools: the offer of extraterritorial citizenship; political campaigns to motivate the diaspora to take part in Hungarian domestic politics by voting in legislative elections; or the never-before-seen high state budget allocated to support these communities. Our analysis is based on qualitative data gathered in 2016 from focus group discussions conducted in the Hungarian community of Western Canada to understand the effects of this diaspora politics from a bottom-up perspective. Using the theoretical framework of extraterritorial citizenship, external voting rights and diaspora engagement programmes, the paper gives a brief overview of the development of the Hungarian diaspora policy. We focus on how post-territorial nationalism of the Hungarian government after 2010 effects the ties of Hungarian communities in Canada with Hungary, how the members of these communities conceptualise the meaning of their “new” Hungarian citizenship, voting rights and other diaspora programmes. We argue that external citizenship and voting rights play a crucial role in the Orbán government’s attempt to govern Hungarian diaspora communities through diaspora policy.

Open access
For and Against: Analysing the Determinants of Humanitarian Intervention. Libya (2011) and Syria (2011–2013) Compared

Abstract

While the normative and legal aspects of humanitarian intervention have been explored in great detail, scholars have usually overlooked the more practical question of when military humanitarian action can be undertaken. To shed light on this question, the first section of the article investigates the conditions and circumstances that should be taken into consideration by the potential interveners. The conditions and circumstances are mostly external in nature which means that the interveners capabilities are important but not a fundamental issue. One of the crucial conditions, often neglected, seems to be clear political situation in the state that is the object of intervention. Preventing or stopping mass killings as a desired outcome is dependent on generating political will that is interlocked with the prospect of success. In the next section, itemised conditions and circumstances are examined in the context of a revolution in Libya in 2011 and of the early years (2011–2013) of the civil war in Syria. It appears that, in the case of Libya, the internal and international situation was definitely to the interveners’ favour. By contrast, the risk of failure in Syria was perceived as very high. A humanitarian intervention in Syria for Western powers could have led to sticking in the quagmire and would have in fact served the interests of local players. The conclusion is if certain conditions and circumstances are absent, the interveners refrain from taking action. Subsequently, humanitarian intervention is more likely to take place when the potential interveners see a higher chance of achieving their operational and political goals by using military force.

Open access
Laicism: Polysemy of the Term and its Determining Functions

Abstract

The conducted analysis evokes the polysemous character of the concept of laicism, which was influenced by modern political and philosophical ideas. Two positions have determined this: a diachronic one encompasses laicism as a process extended in time, and a synchronous one allows one to perceive the simultaneity of phenomena. Thus, the concept itself reveals its practical value, especially in the context of these challenges, which affect both the state crisis and the changing relationship between the State and the Church. This value is confirmed by an important place in the secular research that is based on the principles of sovereignty, equality and separation. Th us, laicism postulated and implemented in the democratic system and its reference to fundamental values should support, above all, the importance of arguments, mutual persuasion and decision-making procedures based on consensus.

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