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The Assault On Democratic Elitism In Poland

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Chapter Summary

Democratic elitism appears to have withstood a severe test in Poland during this century's first decade. The Kaczynski twins, Lech and Jaroslaw, whose Law and Justice Party (PiS) emerged as the clear winner of the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2005, were the first Polish leaders to challenge openly the 1989 elite settlement. They portrayed the Round Table negotiations as the source of much that they regarded as wrong with Poland's politics and institutions Power wielding by the Kaczynski brothers and their coalition partners after the 2005 elections was in most respects the reverse of what had prevailed during the previous fifteen years in Polish politics. It challenged many of the formal and virtually all the informal rules and practices of democratic elitism. Developments in Poland under the Kaczynski-led government amounted to a dramatic retrogression from liberal to illiberal democratic politics.

Keywords: democratic elitism; Jaroslaw; Kaczynski twins; Lech; Poland



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