The Cultural Contradictions of Post-communism

Concilium Civitas 2019/2020, Concilium Civitas, konkurs dla maturzystów, matura 2020

The Cultural Contradictions of Post-communism

[1] In The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Daniel Bell posed one of the most beguiling questions a social scientist can ask: do values or rules organizing the key domains of modern society – economy, politics and culture – need to be congruent with each other for the whole system to work properly?
Bell argued that there is always a degree of disjunction between the social logics driving the three domains, but he insisted that with the escalation of modernist self-indulgent individualism, Western culture that had been traditionally good at balancing two competing forces guiding life, release and restraint, swung way too far towards the ideal of release. On the one hand, the individual creativity of the bourgeois created capitalism, while on the other hand, the individual creativity of the artist eventually undermined or at least eroded the value system underpinning capitalism. Bell, who published this seminal book in 1976, worried, for example, that after the tumultuous 1960s, the subsystems of the American polity were dangerously out of sync with each other. He argued that the economy and politics were still predominantly driven by the bourgeois ideal of freedom, but culture was veering towards modernist self-indulgence, and as a result was not able to provide the social glue of ‘restraint’ that he deemed was necessary for the capitalist economy and liberal politics to function at their optimal capacity.

Regardless of the validity of his diagnosis, Bell’s book provided yet another powerful argument that culture is as central to the functioning of complex socio-political systems as politics and economy, and warned that a disjunction between the principles guiding people’s actions in these three domains may spell trouble.

When state socialism collapsed in 1989 in East Central Europe and the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 the world changed dramatically, and several prominent scholars offered starkly provocative interpretations of this change. For Huntington the political rift of the Cold War was replaced by a cultural/civilizational one. Fukuyama announced the end of history under the banner of triumphant culture of liberalism. Both diagnosed a tectonic cultural shift in the world. It is therefore puzzling that the cultural dimension of the post-1989 transformations has attracted far less sustained analytical attention than the political or economic changes. Yet, several influential analysts immediately understood that the remodelling of culture, particularly in such areas as political culture or understanding gender and sexuality, was going to be a thorny problem during the consolidation of the new regimes. The political sociologist Claus Offe observed that ‘the unique and unprecedented nature of the Eastern European process of transformation’ results to a large degree from the fact that ‘at the most fundamental level a “decision” must be made as to who “we” are, that is, a decision on identity, citizenship, and the territorial as well as social and cultural boundaries of the nation-state’ (Offe 1991: 869). In his introduction to an important volume, the sociologist Michael Kennedy wrote: ‘All of [the essays] show that the cultural landscape matters in the construction of communism’s successor, and that the formation of ideologies and identities is more complicated than most discourses of transition or revolution allow’ (Kennedy 1994: 1). Susan Gal and Gail Kligman, who led a team of researchers studying ‘the complex relationship between ideas and practices of gender on the one hand and broad political-economic change on the other’ noted, inter alia, that in post-communism ‘discourses on gender influence the ways in which states and markets are imagined and constituted’ (Gal and Kligman 2000: 16) either in the direction of liberalization or retraditionalization. The best example of the latter trend is that of Poland, where the Catholic Church has played an increasingly influential role in shaping the gender imagery and formulating – conservative – policies.

In Cultural Formations of Post-communism. Emancipation, Transition, Nation, and War, Kennedy studied culture as an area that provides scenarios or (ideological) templates for economic and political transformations. In the case of the post-communist world, such templates proposed in the discourses, texts, symbols and performances created and propagated by transformational ‘engineers’ coalesce into what Kennedy called the ‘transition culture’. This culture, established on the precepts of neoliberalism, is based on the fundamental opposition of socialism and capitalism and emphasizes ‘the exhaustion of the former and normative superiority of the latter’ (Kennedy 2004: 9). It exalts individualism, self-reliance and the ‘natural’ supremacy of markets. It is not concerned with historical and contextual factors that may constrain or even derail the implementation of novel socio-economic and political blueprints. Its proponents tend to treat the existing, vernacular cultures like ‘a hunk of clay that can be reshaped’ (Kennedy 2004: 9) and are often puzzled that democracies and vibrant economies did not spring up immediately after the fall of state socialism. They seem to think that without the debilitating influence of an insidious ideology of Marxism–Leninism (in one of its variants) and authoritarian suppression, the cultures of formerly communist countries can be effortlessly fixed, and they should join Western Europe as advanced industrial economies with accountable and transparent governments. This process – irreversible as it has been often assumed – may take time, but it should not be difficult to accomplish its aims.

The assumption that liberal democracy combined with market economy constitute the natural and optimal goal of human organization proved to be false, at least for now. Most post-communist countries ended up with political and economic systems that have veered considerably from that ideal; moreover, some of the leading exemplars of this ‘march of progress’, such as Poland and Hungary, started showing dramatic signs of democratic reversal. On the other hand, it is a paradox that the liberal proponents of the idea that culture should change rather swiftly and painlessly seem to subscribe to the economist/materialist way of thinking associated with the now rejected Marxism–Leninism. Culture is seen here as merely following changes in the economic and political spheres with no generative capacity of its own, thus it should not produce any serious resistance. Kennedy does not buy into this line of argument. He is aware that an imposition of a new cultural paradigm on a society is always a complex and difficult task. To analyse these difficulties, he studied several cultural formations of post-communism (for example, nationalism) that interact in complex, often contradictory ways, with the elite transition culture. He concludes that this culture is labile because it is not anchored in other existing cultural formations that together constitute a complex mosaic of national culture. In Poland, I will argue, there are three sources of this lability: novelty, impurity and insularity.

However hard it is to define the liberalism that emerged in Poland after 1989, the style of thinking or a vision of the desired social order was not deeply rooted in the society (Szacki 1994:13), hence its relative novelty. For example, the philosophy and practical ideas of one of the key liberal milieus, the Gdańsk liberals, were well developed when it comes to the economic parts of their programme, but less so on the political and social side (Biegasiewicz 2011). The Polish intelligentsia has a long tradition of cherishing liberty, both in its negative and positive versions. The country has also acquired a liberal infrastructure, with an independent judiciary, independent media and robust civil society, that until recently was among the most solid in the post-communist world. But liberal culture combining individualism with the values of tolerance, forbearance (Levitsky and Ziblatt 2018) and respect for the rule of law has not resonated with all sub-cultures of Polish society. It has been supported by a large segment of the post-1989 transitional elite, but more conservatively inclined members of the intellectual class have always challenged many of its elements (Dąbrowska 2019, Legutko 2012, Krasnodębski 2003).

What I call the impurity of the transition culture had its roots in the lack of a ritual closure of the old system. Victorious Solidarity never fully ceremonialized its success. Consequently, Poland entered a path of momentous transformations without a ceremonial closure of the now-rejected communist past and without a ritualized inclusion of ‘society’ into the new political process. The absence of a ceremonial rite of passage from communism to post-communism has had serious and enduring consequences for post-1989 public life in Poland. For example, it has contributed to the emergence of a distinctive constellation of cleavages in Polish politics: one opened within the Solidarity camp between what Ekiert and I referred to as ‘reformists’ and ‘revolutionaries’ (Ekiert and Kubik 1999). Another one has separated the Solidarity camp from ex-communists for a long time. Both have their origin in the unrealized ritual inclusion that was supposed to provide a modicum of unity in the ‘transforming’ society.

The reformists accepted the logic of negotiated pacting with the communists and extended its validity to the post-communist period. The revolution was over, the society needed to build a system based on the rule of law, and any transitional justice that was to be meted out to the former functionaries of the communist system had to conform to the standards of the rule of law. Their opponents, the revolutionaries, either rejected this logic from the beginning or challenged its validity once the old system collapsed. They and their supporters have evaluated the post-1989 changes negatively and usually treat the Round Table agreements as the beginning of the erroneous path. An influential politician of the early 1990s, Wiesław Chrzanowski, saw such people as adherents of the ‘black legend’ of the Round Table and assessed the propagation of this politically detrimental narrative as a major factor contributing to apathy. Ireneusz Krzemiński observed: The moral acceptance of former adversaries [by a section of the Solidarity camp – JK], including the symbolic persona of general Jaruzelski, [. . .] delineated the basic lines of political divisions, but first of all it generated unusually strong and emotionally laden moral divisions. A moral anathema has been imposed by both sides on each other. The symbolic representation of the society was destroyed and as a result a symbolic picture of the end of the old order and the beginning of the new order has not emerged. Such a symbol, that would dwell in the everyday consciousness and that would constitute a focal point for public rituals, practically does not exist; and yet it is sorely needed (Krzemiński 1999).

There is a considerable part of the Polish public that tends to construe the Round Table compromise and its aftermath not as an achievement, but rather as yet another example of the murky, if not outright malicious, wheeling-dealing behind the scenes that benefited only the narrow elites of the Reds and Pinks [2]. From 2009 till 2019 Poles remained ambivalent, and around 40 per cent of them agreed with the statement that the manner in which the political change had been effected via the Round Table process ‘had its positive aspects, but the concessions granted to the authorities were too large, the compromise went too far’ [3]. Apparently, many of them were and still are very suspicious of what they see as an alliance of liberals and ex-communists that in their minds dominated Polish politics for too long (see Dąbrowska 2019 for a summary).

The third feature of the transition culture, its insularity, has become apparent only gradually. At the outset of post-communist transformations, the elite culture – dominated at least rhetorically by liberal ideals – was regarded as potentially quite popular, as the old system lacked liberty both in the political and economic domains. There have also been attempts to combine those liberal ideals with various versions of conservatism, as in the pragmatic liberalism proposed by Donald Tusk and his Gdańsk circle, which was later organized as the Liberal Democratic Congress (1990–4). But over time, the precepts of transition culture have revealed their incompatibility with several elements of the vernacular culture, including the proclivity to think in magico-religious terms (an important feature of Polish folk Catholicism), social conservatism, gender traditionalism, distrust in elites and some elements of authoritarianism.

The novelty, impurity and insularity of the transition culture have had serious consequences for the course of the Polish post-communist transformations. The cultural field of post-communism has become incoherent, but the logic of this incoherence is different from the one diagnosed by Bell for the US of the 1960s and 1970s. At the beginning of the post-communist period there was no disjunction between the three main domains of the transitional formation championed by a large portion of the nation’s elite and supported by a considerable section of the population (Ekiert and Kubik 1999). All three – politics, economy and culture – were synchronized around the basic principles of liberalism. But the elite transition culture was out of sync with other cultural formations existing in the post-communist world, although it took some time before this disjunction, diagnosed in Poland quite early by some ‘revolutionaries’ and conservative critics of the post-1989 order, came to the fore of public life and become a driving force of politics.

Polish conservatives noted this disjunction early on and over many years have spent a lot of intellectual energy on describing and analysing it. For them, the transition culture was built by an unsavoury alliance of initially victorious liberals and ex-communists and was therefore not only protecting the political and economic interest of this alliance, but was also unable to correspond to the ‘natural’ cultural leanings of many Poles. Initially, their efforts were limited to rather exclusive circles of intellectual publications and foundations and concentrated on the development of anti-hegemonic discourses (Dąbrowska 2019). But eventually, due to the tireless campaigning of politicians such as the Kaczyński brothers, the corrupt and politically damaging errors of the ex-communist formation (particularly during their last term in office, 2001–5), and what was increasingly seen as the social insensitivity of the liberal-conservative centre, an opportunity emerged to take the hitherto niche conservatism mainstream.

As always in such situations political success depends on luck, the level of discontent, the determination and resources available for campaigning and the skillful tailoring of the message. As a result, by 2001, enough discontent had been aroused to bring to parliament not only two political formations that were intellectually fed by conservatism, the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) and the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO), but also two populist formations, Self-Defence (Samoobrona RP) and the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin, LPR). By 2005 a coalition led by increasingly populist PiS, Samoobrona and LPR won enough votes to form the government.

At this historic juncture, the adherents of conservatism faced an organizational and doctrinal dilemma that has a long history in European politics: should they form an alliance, even if relatively loose, with the rising populists, particularly in their more radical right-wing incarnation, or resist the temptation of power and instead prioritize the defence of the liberal-constitutional order? As Ziblatt (2017) argues, among the four main theoretical approaches to democratization, the one that prioritizes elite behaviour is most productive. Following in the footsteps of such prominent comparativists as Giovanni Capoccia and Nancy Bermeo, he analyses the behaviour of conservative elites and their ability to build a viable and enduring political party as the main contributing factor to the eventual success of democracy. The contrast between the behaviour of British and German conservatives and thus the fate of democracy in Great Britain and Germany is well known and does not need to be recounted here. I draw inspiration from Ziblatt’s work but reformulate his problématique, as I am not observing the behaviour of conservatives during the period of democratic breakthrough, but later, during a period of intensifying challenge to the seemingly consolidated democratic order. And I do not focus on the conservatives’ success or failure in building an organization (party), but on their choice of strategic alliances or provision of legitimacy to other political forces.

But before I present my argument, I need to introduce a technical definition of populism, to be able to later demonstrate its impact on politics that may turn out to be quite distinct from the influence of conservatism, or – for that matter – nationalism or statism. The concept of populism has several meanings and definitions. This definitional embarrassment of riches is partially due to the fact that ‘actually existing’ populisms not only share similarities but also display considerable differences. Nonetheless, in today’s social science a consensus seems to have emerged that among the three major approaches to the phenomenon – ideological, political-strategic and socio-cultural – the former is by far the most useful and productive. Its chief author, Cas Mudde, defines populism as: a thin-centered ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic camps, ‘the pure people’ versus ‘the corrupt elite,’ and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people (Mudde and Rovira Kaltwasser 2017) [4].

In an earlier article, Mudde had added that: ‘Populism presents a Manichean outlook in which there are only friends and foes. Opponents are not just people with different priorities and values, they are evil! Consequently, compromise is impossible, as it “corrupts” the purity’ (Mudde 2004: 544). Thin populist ideology thus tends to be Manichean and strongly moralistic, and it has two principal rivals: elitism and pluralism (Müller 2017).

The intensity of populist ideology varies from one manifestation to another, and many political programmes show at least some populist leanings. Importantly, the thin ideology of populism can be easily combined with other ideologies, and ‘thickens’ through this process. There are several ideologies – in themselves often incomplete – that may be mixed with thin populism to generate its thicker versions. (Radical) right-wing populism is an ideology fashioned by thickening thin populism with nativism and authoritarianism (Mudde 2007). For Mudde, nativism is ‘an ideology, which holds that states should be inhabited exclusively by members of the native group (“the nation”) and that nonnative elements (persons and ideas) are fundamentally threatening to the homogenous nation-state’ (Mudde 2007: 19). In turn, authoritarianism ‘is defined here as the belief in a strictly ordered society, in which infringements of authority are to be punished severely. In this interpretation, authoritarianism includes law and order and “punitive conventional moralism”’ (Mudde 2007: 23) [5].

The manner in which both nativism and authoritarianism function as thickening agents in concrete ideological elaborations of populism depends on specific socio-cultural contexts that evolve over time. It is thus essential to both specify context-dependent features and to try to identify general, context-independent patterns of thickening. While engaging in the former task, researchers need to consider other thickening agents, such as religion, which plays a prominent role in Poland.

It is clear from the above definitional discussion of populism that it is quite distinct from conservatism and in some cases even nationalism. The latter two may and often are formulated in an idiom that has no or little populist content. Their authors do not need to emphasize a morally charged juxtaposition of ‘good people’ and ‘bad elites’; they may avoid defining ‘the people’ in a sharp contrast to undesired ‘others’, and they may reject translating the ‘will of the people’ into a call for dismantling institutional checks and balances and undermining the separation of powers. In brief, conservatives have a choice to remain moderate and act as champions of the liberal democracy’s institutional safeguards. As Ziblatt argues, if some of them radicalize, the power of their formation diminishes and the political door opens for far-right populists, as happened in Weimar Germany. The same warning permeates Levitsky and Ziblatt’s more recent How Democracies Die.

Why do some conservatives decide to throw in their political lot with increasingly radicalized right-wing populists, a phenomenon observed these days at least in the US, the UK and Poland? The simplest answer is their yearning for power. Since right-wing populists have their moment in history, conservatives, perhaps holding their noses, enter an alliance with them in order to be able to implement as many elements of their programme as possible. A less cynical explanation will trace how the initially independent ideas and policy recommendations gravitate towards each other due to a freshly emphasized elective affinity between conservatism, nationalism and right-wing populism.

The discursive resources painstakingly crafted by conservatives – the sense of endangerment of the national ‘essence’ and a traditional interpretation of Catholicism – when fortified with the populist emphasis on passionate moralism, a penchant for creating images of the dramatically polarized society and disregard of the institutional architecture of democracy, produce a brew that has a powerful impact on the tenor of political life in the country. And while many Poles, including several leading conservatives such as Aleksander Hall or Kazimierz Ujazdowski, are alarmed by this combination and its political consequences, a sizable portion of the population and other key conservative figures, for example Zdzisław Krasnodębski or Ryszard Legutko, see it as a necessary tool to correct the political course Poland took after 1989.

Conservatism has more affinity with religious thought than socialism or liberalism, so the reassertion of religion into the public domain helps to strengthen the appeal of this philosophy. Similarly to the US, Poland is a country where many cultural layers are permeated by religious themes that can be marshalled as elements of political ideologies. In both countries, over the last decades the concerted effort of religious leaders and organizations has brought religion – particularly its more traditionalist/orthodox versions – to the centre of national politics. In Poland, the Roman Catholic clergy and Catholic activists occupy positions of influence in public life and often use a specific interpretation of religion, both through discourse and action, as a tool of political mobilization. Archbishop Wacław Depo, Metropolitan of Częstochowa, observed, for example: ‘It has caused great pain to once again hear assertions that Poland is ruled by the Constitution, not the Gospel. That the Constitution takes precedence over the Gospel.’ Such a challenge to the foundation of the constitutional order is populist par excellence. On the other hand, lay Catholic organizations have been very actively organizing and mobilizing the faithful in various initiatives often on the national scale. A good example of the influence of this culture is the Rosary to the Borders, a ritual defining Poland as a magico-religious bastion of Christian purity in a morally corrupt continent. On 7 October 2017 about one million Polish Catholics joined in this massive collective prayer. They first congregated in around 320 churches in 22 dioceses and then moved to about 4,000 prayer zones located along the full length of the Polish border, symbolically asserting the correspondence between Polishness and Catholicism (see Kotwas and Kubik 2019).

Moreover, a layer of Polish popular culture that is built around a mix of collective victimhood and an exclusive folk-Catholic vision of collective identity is resonant with the call to protect or restore national dignity. This has been discursively expounded by many conservatives since at least the early 1990s. This resonance is exemplified by the growing number and influence of conservative civil society organizations (Marczewski 2019), including the Gazeta Polska clubs and Radio Maryja circles, and the rising political significance of far right-groups, all of which promote a conservative version of Polishness of varying degrees of radicalness. For example, over the last several years the ideology of the Independence March – whose far-right organizers mobilize many alienated people, particularly un- or under-educated young males – has combined the theme of restoring national glory with the emphatically pronounced devotion to the – specifically understood – Catholic faith (‘We want God’ was the official slogan of the 2018 March).

While the resurgence of conservatism and the right-wing turn of Polish Catholicism produced conditions conducive for an anti-liberal counter-revolution, the gradually radicalizing political formation created by the Kaczyński brothers (the revolutionaries) provided its institutional vehicle. In its indefatigable quest for power, their party eventually accepted the basic tenet of populism, derived from the concept of the ‘will of the people’, namely disdain for the rule-driven architecture of democracy. Additionally, absorbing the idea of the superiority of ‘our’ people over the demonized ‘others’ eventually solidified the populism of PiS. And here the ideas developed by the conservatives proved to be very useful. Some conservatives, in yet another round of the recurrent drama of intellectuals that the French philosopher and novelist Julien Benda immortalized in Treason of the Intellectuals (1927), did not object when their ideas were entwined with the principles of right-wing populism. The Church’s hierarchy also faced a choice and chose to privilege a harsher, exclusivist version of Polish Catholicism, pushing its more open, universalistic interpretation to the margins.

Cultural mobilization against the transition culture has advanced along several tracks that have interacted with one another, though the nature of this interaction is still to be fully understood. As a result, an advanced, well-shaped cultural formation has emerged that is topped by a sophisticated conservatism crafted by accomplished political thinkers and philosophers, enhanced by combative conservatism of the Catholic Church and sustained by folk conservatism, be it the strongly expressed face of many local cultures or the deep-rooted motif of ‘traditionalist’ common sense.

The disjunction that emerged by the late 2010s in Poland is different from the one analysed by Bell. He was troubled by the disjunction between culture, economy and politics within the capitalist formation, mostly at its elite level. I suggested that after 1989 in Poland, or in the post-communist world more broadly, the dominant division was between a nascent (neo)liberal transition formation, internally quite coherent, and a loose mosaic of traditionalistic cultures. Some of these cultures were gradually elaborated in intellectual discourses, others resided in folk cultures of various regions or localities and provided interpretive frames for those who felt left behind by the post-1989 transformations. Over time this mosaic has begun to coalesce into an increasingly coherent three-tiered (at least) cultural formation that is developing around a vision of an alternative path to modernity, not merely a rejection of the liberal transition culture.

Its ‘top’ layer is to be found in the doctrines of the conservatives who offer coherent philosophical justifications for the whole cultural turn. The middle level is expansive. It is articulated via rhetorical, performative and visual media, most systematically employed by Church leaders, many ordinary priests and a whole host of right-wing politicians who often magnify the message of conservative intellectuals by emphasizing the vision of an advancing civilizational catastrophe that is hard to avoid due to the moral decay of the West. That message is further amplified and radicalized by the increasingly vocal far-right groups, whose discourse is more radically nationalistic, racist, homophobic and misogynistic. At the local level, this increasingly synchronized, though not devoid of internal tensions, cultural syndrome builds on and feeds into a folk culture, in many instances interwoven with elements of folk Catholicism, permeated by ritualism and the belief in the magical power of religious gestures (such as the Rosary to the Borders).

What emerges, therefore, is a new conservative-statist-populist formation. Its three-level culture is predominantly conservative; its economy – in many respects anti-liberal – is increasingly statist (Jasiecki 2019). What about politics? It is no doubt based on some precepts of conservatism, but its dominant thrust is right-wing populism. In a project I am co-running we are developing the concept of neo-feudalism to account, inter alia, for this hybrid of conservatism, statism and populism.

The champions of this formation are engaged in an escalating culture war against the proponents of the transition culture in its early 21st-century incarnation. The conflict is intense, not least since the precepts of transition culture are almost indistinguishable from the official culture of the European Union, the institutional frame of the dominant form of European modernity, within which the Polish state is still embedded. The resulting disjunction threatens to be far more destabilizing than anything Bell theorized while worrying about the post-1960s United States. Is a country engulfed by such an intense conflict on a path to alternative modernity or to catastrophe?

Jan Kubik

Jan Kubik is Professor of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL SSEES, and President Elect and 2020 President of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). Jan Kubik works on the interplay between power (politics) and culture, protest politics and social movements, and post-communist transformations. He also writes about qualitative methods in the social sciences. His first book, The Power of Symbols against the Symbols of Power (Penn State Press 1994), and one of his more recent publications, Anthropology and Political Science (Berghahn, with Myron Aronoff 2014), best exemplify his approach. In another recent project, co-organized with Amy Linch and sponsored by the Social Science Research Council in New York, a team of top experts took a critical look at the field of post-communist studies: Postcommunism from Within: Social Justice, Mobilization, and Hegemony (NYU Press 2013). Kubik studies politics and culture comparatively, but the principal source of his observations and data are Poland and East–Central Europe.

[1] I would like to thank Elżbieta Korolczuk and Marta Kotwas for their incisive and indispensable comments.

Footnotes:
[2] In a CBOS (Public Opinion Research Centre) study (10–17 January 2019), 15% of the respondents assessed the agreement negatively, 37% positively and 36% had no opinion. In 2009, these proportions were similar: 12% negative, 41% positive, 31% no opinion. CBOS report in Polish: ‘30th Anniversary of the Round Table talks’, January 2019.
[3] Ibid., 8.
[4] Kindle Locations 703–705.
[5] Authoritarianism needs to be understood both as an ideological stance and a specific personality predisposition. Both share the emphasis on ‘the belief in a strictly ordered society, in which infringements of authority are to be punished severely’. It is related to Stenner’s influential formulation that the essence of authoritarianism is ‘a predisposition to intolerance’ (Stenner 2005: 2). Stenner reviews the literature and concludes: ‘The idea that there is a readily recognizable disposition that somehow brings together certain traits – obedience to authority, moral absolutism and conformity, intolerance and punitiveness towards dissidents and deviants, animosity and aggression against racial and ethnic out-groups – remains widespread’ (Stenner 2005: 3).

Bibliography:
Bell, Daniel. 1976. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. New York: Basic Books.
Biegasiewicz, Piotr. 2011. ‘Gdańscy liberałowie – liberalizm pragmatyczny’, Myśl Polityczna, 5 (21): 71–93.
Dąbrowska, Ewa. 2019. ‘New Conservatism in Poland. The discourse coalition around Law and Justice’, in New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe, eds Katharina Bluhm and Mihai Varga. Milton Park: Routledge, 92–112.
Ekiert, Grzegorz and Jan Kubik. 1999. Rebellious Civil Society: Popular Protest and Democratic Consolidation in Poland, 1989–1993. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Gal, Susan and Gail Kligman. 2000. ‘Introduction’, in Reproducing Gender. Politics, Publics, and Everyday Life after Socialism, eds Susan Gal and Gail Kligman. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 3–19.
Jasiecki, Krzysztof. 2019. ‘“Conservative modernization” and the rise of Law and Justice in Poland’, in New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe, eds Katharina Bluhm and Mihai Varga. Milton Park: Routledge, 130–152.
Kennedy, Michael D. 1994. ‘An Introduction to East European Ideology and Identity in Transformation’, in Envisioning Eastern Europe: Postcommunist Cultural Studies, ed. Michael Kennedy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1–45.
Kennedy, Michael D. 2002. Cultural Formations of Postcommunism. Emancipation, Transition, Nation, and War. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.
Kotwas, Marta and Jan Kubik. 2019. ‘Symbolic Thickening of Public Culture and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Poland’, East European Politics and Societies, and Cultures 33, 2: 435–471.
Krasnodębski, Zdzisław. 2003. Demokracja peryferii. Gdańsk: Słowo/Obraz/Terytoria.
Krzemiński, Ireneusz. 1999. ‘Moralne skutki transformacji ustrojowej’, unpublished manuscript.
Legutko, Ryszard. 2012. Triumf człowieka pospolitego. Poznań: Zysk i Ska.
Levitsky, Steven and Daniel Ziblatt. 2018. How Democracies Die. New York: Crown Publishing.
Marczewski, Paweł. 2018. ‘Freedom to Exclude: Conservative CSOS in Law and Justice Poland’, in The Mobilization of Conservative Civil Society, ed. Richard Youngs. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Mudde, Cas. 2004. ‘The Populist Zeitgeist’, Government and Opposition 39, 4: 541–63.
Mudde, Cas. 2007. Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mudde, Cas. 2016. ‘Studying populist radical right parties and politics in the twenty-first century’, in The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, ed. Cas Mudde. Milton Park: Routledge.
Mudde, Cas and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2017. Populism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.
Müller, Jan-Werner. 2016. What Is Populism? Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Offe, Claus. 1991. ‘Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe’, Social Research 58, no. 4: 865–92.
Stenner, Karen. 2005. The Authoritarian Dynamic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stenner, Karen. 2009. ‘Conservatism, Context-Dependence, and Cognitive Incapacity’, Psychological Inquiry, 20: 189–95.
Szacki, Jerzy. 1994. Liberalizm po komunizmie. Kraków: Znak.
Ziblatt, Daniel. 2017. Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 3.0 Unported License (users are free to share and adapt the material providing attribution is made to the author and source)

Scroll to top