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A Permanent Revolution?: How Poland Joined the Democratic Camp, and Why it Has Left • Padraic Kenney (Indiana University)
April 11, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poland’s decisive move to democracy beginning in the mid-1970s ranks as the most important political transformation in Europe since the democratization of post-war Germany. Its turn away from democracy over the last two years is, correspondingly, a crucial case of democratic de-consolidation. In this talk, Dr. Kenney will trace the main causes of democratic revolution in the 1980s, and make the case that by the early 2000s Poland was not only a successful democracy but a regional leader in the advance of democracy. The recent turn toward authoritarian rule upsets this positive story, however, and so this talk will offer some ideas on where the roots of this change should be sought.
Padraic Kenney is Professor of History and International Studies and Chair of the Department of International Studies at Indiana University. He holds degrees in History and in Russian Studies from Michigan, Toronto, and Harvard. He is the author or co-editor of eight books, including the forthcoming Dance in Chains: Political Incarceration in the Modern World, which uses the case studies of Poland, South Africa, Ireland/Northern Ireland and Guantanamo to explore the place that political imprisonment occupies in the strategies of states, opposition movements, and the prisoners themselves. Previously, a series of his books (in particular A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989 and The Burdens of Freedom: Eastern Europe Since 1989) examined the fall of communism across Central Europe and elsewhere. In 2016, he served as President of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES).
Wine and dessert reception to follow. RSVP requested.
This presentation is part of the CSEEES Endowed Lecture Series “Democratization Processes in Eastern Europe and Beyond.”