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Return to the West?
James W. Peterson
Jacek Lubecki

and July 1991 (through the Budapest and Prague declarations respectively), the last Soviet troops did not leave Poland until September 1993. The period in-between was fraught with external strategic and internal ambiguity. Overall, Poland was unsure what course to follow and appeared to be the least likely candidate for liberal democratic reforms in the defense establishment. With few exceptions, Poland’s new non

in Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989
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Splendid isolation?
Thomas Prosser

, Spanish and Portuguese have benefits for the unemployed. (OPZZ leader Jan Guz on the 14 November 2012 European Day of Action and Solidarity) Poland is a non-member of the Eurozone. Despite this, the Polish labour movement was exposed to pressures associated with Europeanization. This was particularly the case at tripartite level; scholars at one point predicted that Polish tripartism would ready the country for membership of the euro (Meardi, 2006 ). Given this concern, a key issue is the extent to which Polish unions

in European labour movements in crisis
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Great War humanitarianism as a history of failure
Elisabeth Piller

When the history of Poland during the war comes to be written the world will stand aghast at the story of her sufferings. 1 This chapter focuses on the Commission for Relief in Poland (CRP), an American humanitarian organisation which intended to mitigate civilian suffering in German-occupied Poland during the Great War. 2 The CRP was incorporated in early 1915 following an agreement between the Rockefeller Foundation and German authorities. Yet its projected

in Humanitarianism and the Greater War, 1914–24
Tomasz Grusiecki

Poles at the wedding fête in Paris as having ‘the worst dining manners in the world’ and as behaving in a ‘savage’ manner. 7 Both statements surely exaggerate the point, but staging Poland as a quasi-Ottoman realm was a relatively common rhetorical trope in early modern Europe, with outlandish costume and strange manners frequently found in other Europeans’ descriptions of the country and its people. 8

Sidi NDiaye

This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A staged evolution or failed revolution?
Tom Junes

5 The demise of communism in Poland: a staged evolution or failed revolution? Tom Junes The East European revolutions The demise of communism in Poland Even after so many years, the most striking fact about the demise of communism in Poland remains that it happened through a peaceful and negotiated process. Having seemingly unfolded quite suddenly, it was the result of several inter-playing factors over a longer period of time than the actual events of the spring and summer of 1989. Changes in the international geopolitical context, a disastrous economic

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
Jan Pakulski

followers), 2 always target both elite strata. National decapitations, as Robert Conquest, Timothy Snyder, the Memorial Group of historians in Russia, and the Instytut Pamie˛ci Narodowej (IPN, Institute of National Remembrance) historians in Poland argue, destroy whole societies and nations. An eliticide, when prolonged and ruthless, endangers social, political and moral order and undermines the capacity

in Violence and the state
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp
Zuzanna Dziuban

38 2 (Re)politicising the dead in post-​Holocaust Poland: the afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp1 Zuzanna Dziuban At the official dedication of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on 10 May 2005 in Berlin, Lea Rosh, a German journalist who launched and led the long-​lasting campaign for the erection of this contentious monument,2 herself became a source of extreme controversy. During her impassioned speech, held in front of a large and engaged audience including Holocaust survivors, their relatives and Jewish religious

in Human remains in society
A case of post-traumatic sovereignty

For many Western observers, the electoral success of Poland’s populist right-wing party Law and Justice in 2015 came as an unpleasant surprise. Even more shocking was what happened next: Jarosław Kaczyński’s party started taking over all state institutions. It suppressed the media and launched a controversial “reform” of the judiciary. How was this illiberal turn possible after decades of democratic development? Has Poland cut itself off from the pro-European path, or is the Law and Justice government a passing episode in the country’s history? Written by a leading Polish political commentator, this book traces the country’s transformation over the past thirty years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the government response to the refugee crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also reaches back further into the past, analysing the current situation in terms of a “post-traumatic” reaction to centuries of statelessness. Familiarising readers with the latest developments in Europe’s largest illiberal democracy, The new politics of Poland provides lessons for other countries experiencing the rise of populist right-wing movements.

Transcultural things explores visual and material modes of vernacular self-expression in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth—a confederate polity created in 1569 as the Polish, Ruthenian, Lithuanian, and Prussian nobilities found themselves drawing closer together culturally. This book examines how the process of their becoming an interconnected political community was activated and legitimized by material culture and, specifically, by objects like maps, illustrated histories, costumes, and carpets. These artefacts came to act as signifiers of localness and the Commonwealth’s cultural distinctiveness, yet they were often from abroad, particularly the Ottoman Empire. Highlighting objects’ mobility, adaptation, and cultural reappropriation—by which the ‘exotic’ becomes local and the foreign turns ‘native’—this study points to the exogenous underpinnings of cultural self-identification and the only allegedly local artefacts that mediated it. Transcultural things foregrounds the often-overlooked extrinsic aspect of nativism, positioning Poland Lithuania—a realm often regarded as ‘Orientalized’—as a useful methodological laboratory for challenging theories of national and societal cultural distinctiveness. This analysis thereby reveals how a discourse of distinctiveness emerged in response to transcultural flows of people and artefacts as well as how, for Polish Lithuanian elites, making sense of one’s own world was fundamentally informed by other cultures—and was therefore, inevitably, embedded in a global context.