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This week’s editors

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Poland on fire: voices from the provinces

There is a growing atmosphere of hatred in which anyone who opposes the current government is labeled the ‘worst sort’, or even ‘Soviet murderers’.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes: a light in the dark

Aristides de Sousa Mendes chose his conscience over his orders. His altruism should be an example for all those struggling to change a world that is once again failing to protect its citizens.   

Solidarity according to Polish women in 2017

Women are playing a key role in the ongoing Polish protests - and this time they won't be silenced.

Poland has a duty to preserve judicial independence

The Polish government's proposed law to take control of the country's judiciary is the latest in a worrying trend towards authoritarianism in the country.

The real reason Trump went to Poland

Trump went to Poland to sell gas to its nationalist right wing government - and other big EU countries were not impressed.

A new international municipalist movement is on the rise – from small victories to global alternatives

In a world stuck between neoliberal crisis and authoritarianism, a reinvigorated municipalist movement is proving a powerful tool to build emancipatory alternatives from the ground up.

Migration crisis in 2017 – challenges for EU solidarity

Changes in the political scene may lead to the reformation of migration policy in EU countries, and that in turn may be another impulse towards weakening the community as a whole.

Brexit: yes, you will suffer as well

Bankrupt regions, impoverished hospitals, overcrowded prisons: Brexit will affect everybody in Europe. And yet nobody is taking responsibility for the mess.

Will Polish students step up and seize their opportunity?

Polish students have remained aloof from politics over the past years. The current political situation might bring about a change in this situation.

Why are Polish people so wrong about Muslims in their country?

Although Muslims in Poland constitute less than 0.1% of the total population, a recent survey found that Poles believe that 7% of their country is Muslim.

Gdansk: a city open to migration and diversity?

What made this Polish city decide to transform itself into a place of welcome for migrants? (Video, 2 mins)

Democracy will not pacify Trump. He is democracy.

Polish sociologist Slawomir Sierakowski discusses the "Trumpification" of Europe and what the US election means for Russia, the Baltic States and Poland.

"We don’t have a refugee crisis. We have a housing crisis."

With national and European governments in gridlock, the cities themselves have decided to bypass the state level altogether and forge ahead with some very innovative solutions to the crises facing Europe today.

Free Ameer Alkhawlany!

An Iraqi PhD student continues to be held in detention in Poland, facing deportation as a threat to national security.

Czarny Protest: how Polish women took to the streets

After two decades of feminist pressure, the people took to the streets. But why now?

Illiberalism and authoritarianism can be successfully challenged in Poland

This past week Poland's PiS government suffered its first blow since coming to power nearly a year ago. It was an optimistic note in a region where illiberalism authoritarian governments are on the rise. 

Why Poland's 'Black Protest' could be a potential game changer

With its move to change the abortion legislation, the Polish government has opened Pandora's box, the consequences of which it cannot possibly control.

Central and eastern Europe as playground of a conservative avant-garde

Central and eastern European hard right parties have more rapid success than their western counterparts, due to these countries’ subjection to the worst effects of neoliberalism and financialisation.

Self-organised struggles of migrant care workers

How do migrant workers successfully enact labour and social rights? ‘Respekt’, a local network established by Polish live-in care workers in Basel, Switzerland, challenges widespread assumptions held by unions.

"We need to bring back the sublime in politics." An interview with Jan Sowa

Sociologist Jan Sowa discusses the anti-government protests, the forgotten legacy of Solidarity and the decline and fall of politics in Poland.

Two halves: Poland copes with freedom

On the 35th anniversary of Poland’s modernising transformation, the question arises, how was the emancipatory potential of the ‘Solidarity’ movement squandered? 

Interview with Adrian Zandberg, Partia Razem

If you don't have a Left that is able to question unjust social relations and give viable perspectives on changing the world for the better, then politics dies. Lithuanian (part1, part 2)

Stealing the spectacle

A new Polish xenophobia cannot be explained only by political economy, but also needs to be understood in terms of political aesthetics.

Poland welcomes internet filtering

Any limits set for free expression online must be traced in pencil, not in ink, and not, and this is particularly important - within a hastily drafted piece of legislation.

The rise of 'youth nationalism' in Poland

What is causing the youth of Poland to mobilise so strongly in the name of nationalism and xenophobia?

Illiberal tangos in central and eastern Europe

Far right organisations may be considered drivers of change in Central and Eastern Europe; their impact being felt through the deeds of their mainstream contenders.

To confront polarisation one must look into the abyss

What Brexit has shown us is that people are still easy to manipulate and that tribal divisions are still pretty much a feature of our political system.

Reflections of a post-communist peasant

The situation in central and eastern Europe should serve as a warning against Brexit.

Can Poland’s opposition mount an effective challenge?

The divided opposition will struggle to mount such a challenge unless it can also address Poles’ broader concerns, recognising that they do not simply want a return to the pre-election status quo.

Poland: a total ban on abortion?

With unprecedented political momentum for a total ban on abortion in Poland, thousands are marching in protest and the Prime Minister is receiving coat hangers in the post.

 

As Poles shift right, democracy runs scarce

While the Law and Justice party insists that local disputes are best settled at home, Polish opposition and fearful individuals have been reaching out to international forums for support.

Youngsters and refugees, or how exile changes eastern Europe

Official anticommunism never contented itself with making an equation between fascism and communism. It gravitated toward depicting communism as an absolute evil, whose enemies became new role models.

Silence – the EU’s strategy for human rights abuses in its neighbourhood

Talk in Brussels among non-governmental organisations and parliamentarians is that the EU lacks a strategy to address human rights violations in the European neighbourhood. However, what if the EU has a strategy?

Euroradio: from Warsaw for Belarus

What do you do when your national media is state controlled? For Belarusian 'non-State' media the answer has been to broadcast from neighbouring Poland. Here’s Euroradio’s story.

The Polish boomerang: how Warsaw’s adoption of the 'Budapest Model' could threaten the original in Hungary

The new Polish government seems keen on following the authoritarian 'Budapest model' promulgated by illiberal democrat Viktor Orbán, but this could backfire on the Hungarian leader.

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