Democracy in Poland: Representation, participation, competition and accountability since 1989, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Democracy in Poland

Representation, participation, competition and accountability since 1989, 1st Edition

By Anna Gwiazda


176 pages

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This book assesses the quality of democracy in Poland from the collapse of communism in 1989 up to the 2011 parliamentary election. It presents an in-depth, empirically grounded study comparing two decades of democratic politics. Drawing on democratic theory and comparative politics, the book puts forward an evaluation of democracy based on four dimensions: representation, participation, competition and accountability.  The book is an important contribution to debates on the performance of the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, where some scholars argue that there is a ‘democratic crisis’, that, after a period of democratic progress, most of these countries are experiencing democratic fatigue and that their democratic performance is poor. However, the Polish case shows that democracy is not in crisis - in fact, the quality of democracy in Poland has improved.  The book shows that democratic quality stems from good democratic institutions. Moreover, the Polish case shows useful lessons that can be learnt by democratic reformers in countries that are undergoing the transition to democracy or are aiming to consolidate their democratic systems. It concludes that effective accountability, good representation and stable competition are vital.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Evaluating the Quality of Democracy 3. Representation: Descriptive Characteristics of Parliamentary Representatives 4. Participation: Voter Turnout, Membership in Civil Society Organizations and Direct Legislation 5. Competition: Party and Party System Institutionalization 6. Accountability: Executive-Legislative Relations and the Constitutional Tribunal 7. Conclusions

About the Author

Anna Gwiazda is a Lecturer in Comparative Politics at King's College London, UK

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian and East European Studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General