Political cleavages in post-communist Poland

Professor Tomasz Zarycki (deputy director of Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw) presents work on political cleavages in Poland.

Picture of Tomasz Zarycki

Tomasz Zarycki

This talk has several aims. Its first goal is to present the structure of the Polish political scene and the historical origins of its main cleavages. Another goal is to place these divisions in a wider international context. One of the main arguments is that the specificity of political differences in Poland can be explained better if the peripheral status of the country in relation to Russia and Western Europe is taken into account. The classic Lipset-Rokkan model of political cleavages and their West European origins is used as a foundation for the centre/periphery based interpretation of current, as well as late 19th and early 20th century, Polish politics. I also propose a model of linkage between the historical Lipset-Rokkan approach and Kitschelt's 'universal' classification of political cleavages. By establishing a relationship between the universal and historical meanings of Polish political cleavages, we are able to determine the extent to which political cleavages in Poland can be connected to the standard Western model. Finally, I present general conclusions drawn from the analysis of the Polish case that might be applicable in the analysis of political divisions in other Central and East European countries. Zarycki offers an interpretation of the two main political cleavages in Poland from the perspective of the Lipset-Rokkan model, which in turn is used as a starting point for reflections on the historical roots of the Polish political scene.

Publisert 23. aug. 2022 15:08 - Sist endret 31. aug. 2022 10:01