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This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why our media is wrong to say proportional representation helps the extreme right

The UK media likes to blame far right gains elsewhere – as in Sweden’s recent election – on PR. In fact the evidence shows disproportional voting systems give more power to the extreme right.

The European Court of Justice as a bastion of democracy and rule of law

The crucial role of the ECJ appears even more important in present times, when things taken forgranted, such as democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law, are in danger.

This ultra-conservative institute has infiltrated the Polish state, on a relentless quest to ban abortion

Ordo luris is an extreme anti-choice group whose founders were ‘inspired’ by a controversial Catholic fundamentalist network. How has it gained so much political power?

The unsettling denialism in Poland’s ‘National Remembrance’ Law

There is a growing climate of suspicion and hostility towards those viewed as outsiders to the predominantly white and Catholic nation.

The illiberal tandem vs Europe

It’s not only the language and resetting of the agenda that the ruling parties of Hungary and Poland have in common. However, they do not mirror each other either.

Populism, Trump, and the future of democracy

The most popular political philosopher of his generation makes an invaluable contribution to openDemocracy's debate on liberal responsibility worldwide for the rise of the hard right.

Unsympathetic people: the overwhelming success of Poland's exclusionary agenda

Three elements seem to have played a decisive role in this: voluntary servitude, the Polish brand of inferiority complex, and a deep-seated Polish anti-Semitism and more general exclusivism.

In the bad guys’ lair - AKS Zły and their alternative football

Players, managers and supporters of AKS Zły in Poland take their sport seriously and know that winning is the best way to show that an alternative way of playing football is possible.

Poland’s ‘holocaust law’ redefines hate speech

This new law exploits the spirit of such legislation in order to bolster the ruling majority’s authority and to further intimidate vulnerable groups. 

The guilt, dignity and pedagogy of shamelessness

For centuries, Europe’s Christians have shut Jews behind ghetto walls. Now, Polish Christians intend to shut the voice of Jewish suffering into a ghetto of silence behind a legal wall.

Let’s not ‘politicise’: let’s skill

"We are very aware, when it comes to the whole Greek experience, that one of the problems the political left faces is … what it means to be able to implement your own ideas."

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.

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