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Europe’s Reluctant Radicals: Poland

Counterpoint and the Polish Cultural Institute in London are delighted to announce their discussion panel ‘Recapturing Post-Communist Reluctant Radicals’.  The event, hosted by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, will take place on 22 April in room 347 (on the third floor of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies) from 18:00 to 19:15.  The discussion will be followed by a small reception.

The event marks the launch of Marek Beylin’s Polish Adventures with Democracy (Przygody Polaków z demokracją), commissioned as part of Counterpoint’s project Recapturing Europe’s Reluctant Radicals, supported by the Open Society Foundations. The panel will discuss populism in the context of post-communist societies, with a focus on Poland and Russia. Speakers include:

Marek Beylin, historian, journalist and author of Polish Adventures with Democracy, editor at Gazeta Wyborcza

Eva Hoffman, academic and writer, author of Lost in Translation and Exit into History

Prof. Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society at UCL SSEES and author of Can Russia Modernise?

Dr. Catherine Fieschi, Director, Counterpoint, author of In the Shadow of Democracy and co-author of ‘How to win back Europe’s populist vote’

Populism is not only a political form that is deeply intertwined with democracy; It is also a useful detector of a polity’s most intimate terrain, revealing both the functions and malfunctions of formal and informal institutions. With respect to post-communist societies, where political identities have been rapidly reshaped, populism is a particularly interesting lens trough which to interpret the scope and depth of change as well as the manner in which transition has shaped personal aspirations, political objectives and perceptions of success or failure.  The panelists will discuss these issues, drawing on the specific cases of Poland and Russia.

Read an excerpt of Polish Adventures, in English, on Open Democracy

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