Democracy in Poland: Representation, participation, by Anna Gwiazda

By Anna Gwiazda

This publication assesses the standard of democracy in Poland from the cave in of communism in 1989 as much as the 2011 parliamentary election. It provides an in-depth, empirically grounded examine evaluating 20 years of democratic politics. Drawing on democratic idea and comparative politics, the publication places ahead an overview of democracy in accordance with 4 dimensions: illustration, participation, festival and responsibility. The publication is a crucial contribution to debates at the functionality of the recent democracies in crucial and jap Europe, the place a few students argue that there's a ‘democratic crisis’, that, after a interval of democratic growth, each one of these international locations are experiencing democratic fatigue and that their democratic functionality is terrible. in spite of the fact that, the Polish case indicates that democracy isn't really in difficulty - actually, the standard of democracy in Poland has more advantageous. The publication indicates that democratic caliber stems from stable democratic associations. furthermore, the Polish case indicates worthwhile classes that may be learnt through democratic reformers in international locations which are present process the transition to democracy or are aiming to consolidate their democratic structures. It concludes that potent responsibility, reliable illustration and sturdy pageant are vital.

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Moreover, analyzing democracy in Poland can shed new light on debates concerning democracies. The main theme in these debates is the crisis of democracy. Although discussions about the democratic crisis are not limited to Europe and the present day only,7 the economic crisis of the period from 2008–13 has intensified these debates. Many argue that Europe has experienced an unprecedented economic and financial crisis with possibly harmful, if not destructive, implications for democracy, as evidenced by the rise of populist politics and authoritarian tendencies (see De Witte et€al.

It is also useful for policy makers, think tanks and informed lay audiences with an interest in how democracies improve or why they regress. Lessons which can be drawn from the Polish case and specific recommendations presented in conclusions can be used by policy makers in Poland as well as other countries which are democratizing or want to improve their democracies. Introductionâ•… 9 Finally, although this is an important contribution to the study of democracy, it is necessary to remain mindful that, because this book is the first systematic study of Polish democracy, it must take a procedural approach (input-based) and so does not present a substantive (output-based) evaluation.

I€argue that representation, participation, competition and accountability should be considered if a procedural approach is adopted. Representation has come to be adopted as an essential element of a modern democracy where the representatives symbolise different identities and act on behalf of others (Dahl 1989). Participation is vital for government ‘by the people’ (Pateman 1970; van Deth 2001). Competition provides for the democratic selection of elites (Schumpeter 1943[2000]; Dahl 1971). Finally, accountability ensures that political elites are responsible for their actions (Przeworski et€al.

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