Who are we?
Manifesto Concilium Civitas
Manifesto Concilium Civitas
We are a group of Polish social scientists working at universities outside Poland. All of us feel close to Polish affairs. Some of us were born and educated in Poland; others have found different ways to enter the realm of Polish matters. Poland is the subject of academic reseach for some of us; other members of our group are interested in Polish affairs in parallel to pursuing our own academic disciplines.
We are all bound by the feeling that as researchers of social processes – including economics, politics, history – who take part in international academic debates on public affairs, we are obliged to be active and selfless in offering Poland our knowledge. This is why we have created Concilium Civitas – an informal body initiated in the spirit of social responsibility traditional of the Polish intelligentsia.
Many distinguished social scientists believe that the democratic countries of the West, including Poland, are at a dangerous juncture after years of relative stability. We may all come out of this crisis stronger, but it is also possible that the tensions and conflicts will grow deeper and at least some of our societies will sustain irreparable losses.
Our nation states, democratic institutions, transnational communities, the rule of law, social and economic models and the identities of our communities all face serious challenges by virtue of being interconnected.
Crises of politics, ecology, economy, society and global affairs are the subject of ongoing broad analysis and debates that unfortunately do not bring easy answers or painless solutions. Ad hoc responses that can have a serious and long-term impact on reality often result from cursory analysis and from decisions made without responsible and competent prior reflection. False solutions to crises may be more dangerous than the crises themselves. All available measures should be taken to avoid such an outcome.
Poland is in a singular situation vis-à-vis these challenges. The country’s young democracy and market economy still have to deal with their 20th-century legacy, and thus remain exposed to systemic challenges. Therefore, Poland’s place in the Western community of states may be more at risk than that of its long-established members. This creates an obligation for Poles to be highly cautious and prudent, so as not to waste a substantial part of the last three decades’ achievements. In this context we see it as our duty to provide knowledge and expertise to the best of our ability.
This year we are publishing our first collection of articles, the Concilium Civitas Almanac 2019 – 20, in which we consider the core challenges facing Poland and the world. Our symposium in Warsaw on 9 and 10 July 2019 has been planned as a forum for discussion on the further activity of Concilium Civitas and for debates co-organized by the New Media and Journalism Faculty of Collegium Civitas, which is the editor of our publication and has kindly provided our base in Poland.
Dozens of Polish academics working at foreign universities and other specialists in relevant disciplines have been invited to the Concilium Civitas project. We hope they bring considerable value to the Polish public debate and thus help our country turn the corner at this critical juncture in its history.
Concilium Civitas Initiative Group:
Professor Grzegorz Ekiert, sociology (Harvard University)
Professor Anna Grzymała-Busse, political sciences (Stanford University)
Professor Jan Kubik, sociology (Rutgers University)
Professor Wojciech Sadurski, legal sciences (University of Sydney)
Professor Jan Zielonka, legal sciences, political sciences (University of Oxford)