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Photo: “W drodze na Wawel“, by Piotr Drabik, licensed under CC BY 2.0, Hue modified from the original

Jacuński, Michał, Barbara Brodzińska-Mirowska, Anna Pacześniak, and Maria Wincławska. “Democracy in Poland: The Post-communist Regime and Its Performance.” In Party Organization and Communication in Poland, pp. 33-59. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2021.


The chapter provides a background for the analysis of contemporary political parties in Poland referring to the legacy of the communist regime and the impact of democratic transition after 1989. We analyse their influence on the current political system, the level of citizens’ trust in public institutions and political parties, the voter turnout and sustainability of democratic institutions. The attitude towards the communist past was one of the key themes of the political debate and a major point of disagreement among political parties during the first years after transition. This chapter explains why the accountability of the previous non-democratic regime became also one of the focal points for the right-wing conservative government led by Law and Justice in power from 2015.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.