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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.

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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.

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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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The Opposition to Communism in the Political Thought of The Exiled Democratic Socialist Adam Ciołkosz

Abstract

The Polish socialist movement has undergone various stages of development over more than 100 years of history. In the first half of the 20th century it was, to a large extent, identified with European Social Democracy. After the Second World War and the seizure of power in Poland by the communists, the socialist movement was replaced by a communist ideology that completely distorted the authentic democratic socialism and appropriated the values it represented. The unmasking of communist counterfeits was dealt with by the Polish émigré activist – Adam Ciołkosz, who as active politician and theoretician of socialism, showed a special activity in the contestation of communism. His views as an authentic Social Democrat had a significant impact on the political thought of the Polish socialist movement outside Poland. Ciołkosz, as an anti-Communist, represented such values as: respect for human rights and social justice, humanistic sensitivity, Christianity and above all socialism. At the same time, he promoted the need to fight communism and expose the criminal ideology. He pointed to the need to introduce a system of social justice (i.e. democratic socialism).

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Religion and Religiosity: A Path to War or Peace

Abstract

The study was set to examine the differences between religion and religiosity and to explore how communities can be protected against religious violence. The study also intended to investigate the motives and the effect that religious violence has had throughout history. The study employed the qualitative research method whereby the researcher carried out a meta-analysis synthesis of different research findings to make conclusions and implications that could answer the study questions. Using the literature review they conducted, the researchers carried out data collection. As such, the researcher employed the bottom-up approach to identify the problem and the questions along with the investigation framework of what they decided to explore. The findings of the study revealed that religious backgrounds should be the cornerstone to realize the diff erence between religion and religiosity. Religion is of divine origin whereas religiosity is specifically a humanistic approach and a behavioral model. The religious violence phenomenon is formed by interlocking factors such as the interpretation of religious texts which clearly adopt thoughts and heritage full of violence camouflaged by religion. It is recommended that governments use a strong strategy employing the educational system, summits and dialogs to successfully overcome religious violence. The summits on religion should result in starting a dialog that ensures acceptance of the different religions.

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Some Aspects of Identity Politics of Kharkiv Local Authorities After 2013

Abstract

The paper analyzes the transformation of identity politics of Kharkiv local authorities after the Euromaidan, or Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea, and the War in Donbass. Being the second largest city in Ukraine and becoming the frontline city in 2014, Kharkiv is an interesting case for research on how former pro-Russian local elites treat new policies of the central government in Kyiv, on whether earlier they tried to mobilize their electorate or to provoke political opponents with using soviet symbols, soviet memory, and copying Russian initiatives in the sphere of identity.

To answer the research question of this article, an analysis of Kharkiv city and oblast programs and strategies and of communal media were made. Decommunisation, as one of the most important identity projects of Ukrainian central authorities after 2014, was analyzed through publications in Kharkiv’s city-owned media as well as reports from other scholars. Some conclusions are made from the analysis of these documents: Kharkiv development strategy until 2020, Complex program of cultural development in Kharkiv in 2011–2016 (and the same for 2017–2021), The regional program of military and patriotic training and participation of people in measures of defense work in 2015–2017, Program of supporting civil society in 2016–2020 in Kharkiv region and the city mayor’s orders about the celebration of Victory Day (9 May), the Day of the National Flag (23 August), the Day of the City (23 August) and Independence Day (24 August) in 2010–2015.

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