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Politics of Time

Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland

Leszek Koczanowicz
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 196
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  • Book Info
    Politics of Time
    Book Description:

    What has really happened in Poland since the election of 2005? After such spectacular events as the practice of lustration and the questioning of solidarity with the European Union, one has to ask: what is the nature of this newly emerging society? As with many of the recent developments in former communist countries that seem to be mysterious and irrational, the situation and ensuing problems are complex and the answers neither trivial nor easy. This book, by the distinguished Polish philosopher, addresses these complexities through the role of the communist past in post-communist Poland. It describes the events that led to the collapse of the Solidarity program and the growing influence of the nationalistic and religious parties in the government. The author investigates the nature of social and political temporality and develops a theoretical framework that allows him to apply his conclusions not only to Poland but also to other formerly communist countries.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-045-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Chapter 1 Political Time or the Past as a Political Issue
    (pp. 1-66)

    When Aleksander Kwasniewski, once a member of the Party nomenklatura, was elected Polish President in 1995, it was to Paris that he paid one of his first foreign visits. There he visited the Institute of Culture, met its founder Jerzy Giedroyc, and assured him that reading the journalKulturahad always been a source of intellectual stimulation. As it was immediately noted,Kulturawas regarded as the main ideological threat to Communist Party domination, and loyal Party members (of high rank especially) were not supposed to enjoy this kind of literature. Kwasniewski’s ploy, however, is a good example of current...

  5. Chapter 2 Social Time or the Ontology of Expectations
    (pp. 67-108)

    In the previous chapter I discussed the problem of political time, that is, the time which is a weapon in the political struggle. This function of time is connected with such phenomena as transitional justice, lustration, compensation and use of the past as a direct accusation of political enemies. Under this label I also subsume the issue of the “struggle for memory”, that is, the attempt to impose a certain vision of the past on a whole society by a particular group. However I do nor think that the problem of the social function of time is confined only to...

  6. Chapter 3 Perspectives on Time: From Philosophy to Anthropology
    (pp. 109-136)

    In the previous chapters I have elaborated the concept of political time and social time, taking examples from the situation in Poland after the transformation of 1989. In this chapter I shall refer to various traditions in philosophy, sociology, and anthropology in order to show the fundamentals of the idea of time as a social construction.

    If we take physical time as a point of departure then we have to confront the alleged “objectivity” of physical time as opposed to the “subjectivity” of social time. However, time, if it is not the special subject of a natural scientist’s investigation, presents...

  7. Epilogue What has Happened to Us? The Rise of Post-post-communism
    (pp. 137-152)

    What has really happened in Poland since the election of 2005? This question is not only an issue of the current politics but also a problem for social theory. In Chapter 1, I outlined the events which led to the emergence of the new form of post-communist society. After such spectacular events as lustration and questioning solidarity with the European Union, a problem has arisen: to define the real substance of this new form of society. The answer is neither trivial nor easy. First, the ruling party (Law and Justice) states its goal in moral rather than political terms. They...

  8. Appendix Post-communism and Pop Music: Annihilation or Restoration of Memory in Disco-polo
    (pp. 153-162)
    Leszek Koczanowicz and Agnieszka Zembrzuska
  9. NOTES
    (pp. 163-172)
    (pp. 173-176)
  11. Index
    (pp. 177-182)