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Back to the Future: The Resurgence of Poland's Conservative Right

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Conservatism has enjoyed a political renaissance in Central Eastern Europe after European Union expansion in 2004. This has been most profound in Poland, where a coalition of conservative-nationalist parties has formed a government. These political developments have been underpinned by an intellectual movement, which has created a new synthesis of conservative thought. Contemporary conservative thinking in Poland reaches back to the work of European and Polish conservatism during the inter-war period. It combines a criticism of both communism and liberalism, believing that both possess similar atheistic, nihilistic and immoral characteristics. Polish conservatism proposes the instigation of a new process of de-communisation and seeks to break from the supposed neutralism of liberalism. It proposes a politicisation of the public sphere and supports closing the gap between the Church and the State. Conservatism in Poland has grown as liberalism has suffered an inexorable decline due to its fusion of cultural and political liberalism with economic neo-liberalism. The Polish left has become assimilated into this liberal framework, leaving conservatism as the main alternative mode of thought to the neo-liberal paradigm in post-socialist Poland.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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