Australian Institute of Polish Affairs

PUBLIC LECTURE BY PROF. JAN PAKULSKI. Is Democracy in Poland in Danger?

Public lecture by Prof. Jan Pakulski

Is Democracy in Poland in Danger?

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas and the Sydney Democracy Network

A recent series of controversial moves by the new Polish Government, especially the weakening of the Constitutional Tribunal and subjecting the public media to ministerial appointments and supervision, have triggered mass protests in Poland and concerns among EU officials.

Professor Jan Pakulski analyses these developments in the broader context of the rapid economic development, new social divisions, and the polarisation within the Polish political elite combined with electoral re-alignment. He argues that Poland shows some symptoms of ‘political decay’, weakening liberal democracy, and gradual transition towards populist ‘leader democracy’.


Jan Pakulski, MA (Warsaw), PhD (ANU), is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tasmania, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), Affiliate with Stanford Centre for Poverty and Inequality, Visiting Fellow and Professor at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, CEU, and currently Collegium Civitas. He is the author/editor of 10 books and over 120 scholarly articles on political elites, democratisation, multiculturalism, post-communism, social movements, and social inequality. His most recent books are Toward Leader Democracy (with Andras Korosenyi, 2012), Declining Political Leadership in Australia (with Bruce Tranter, 2015) and Violence and the State (co-edited and co-written with Matt Killingsworth and Matthew Sussex, 2015).


Professor Jan Pakulski will be in conversation with Martin Krygier, Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of New South Wales, co-director of its Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law, and Adjunct Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University. Martin Krygier is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

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