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Mediatizing Secular State

Media, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Poland


Damian Guzek

The book provides an empirically based analysis of changes on how various political and denominational actors seek to influence the Church and state relationship, as well as how we understand the idea of the secular state. A set of case studies shows how and why changes in the coverage of the secular state and Church-state relations have followed the dynamics of media logic. By establishing a grounded theory based on media content, legal regulations and political party programs in the years 1989–2015 as well as a current survey, the author throws new light on the theory of mediatization. The book demonstrates that the disseminated idea of the secular state is largely a result of the adaptation of both political and religious representatives to a dynamically changing media logic.

 "The book is the first study of this kind showing the Polish perspective. It is an interesting and important source of information for those who want to trace the media picture of relations between the Polish state and the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, representing the largest religious community in Poland."

Professor Dorota Piontek, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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First, I would like to acknowledge that Prof. Marek Jachimowski facilitated the development of this book at the University of Silesia, and Prof. Elisabeth Poole supported the idea of the book by sponsoring my research stay at Keele University. I thank Prof. Dorota Piontek, reviewer and Prof. Bogusława Dobek-Ostrowska, the series editor, for their careful reading and comments. I also thank Dr. Dagmara Głuszek Szafraniec and Dr. Marta Kołodziejska for commenting on my drafts of this study. I would like to thank Jan Kobylecki for his translation work. Second, I would like to thank all of the representatives of various institutions for their invaluable support and helping me obtain the research material: Ewa Borkowska and Jacek Owczarczyk from the Public Television Archive at TVP, Prof. Irena Słodkowska, and Robert Michałowski from the Archive of Political Parties at the Polish Academy of Science.

Third, I would like to thank all who helped me write a successful grant proposal and carry out this project: Prof. Janusz Bójnicki, Prof. Grażyna Jurkowlaniec, Prof. Patrycja Szostok, Dr. Dagmara Głuszek-Szafraniec, Dr. Joanna Soćko, Dr. Agata Wilczek, and Paweł Szulc.

Fourth, I would like to thank my colleagues from the University of Silesia, Keele University, and Uppsala University for our stimulating conversations that led to improving the concept of this book, in particular Prof. Anthony Bradney, Dr. Yossi Nehushtan, Dr. Ekaterina Grishaeva, Dr. Mateusz Płotkowiak, Dr. Paweł Sarna, Dr. Katarzyna Brzoza,...

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