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Discrimination for the Sake of the Nation

The Discourse of the League of Polish Families against «Others» 2001-2007

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Yasuko Shibata

This book examines the intertwined relationship between contemporary Polish politics and national culture by focusing on the phenomenon of discrimination. The object of the analysis is the language of the League of Polish Families, a populist party that recreated the climate of pre-war National Democracy in Poland from 2001 to 2007 by negatively labeling the nation’s Others. Through the political party’s discourse of discrimination, the book grasps a peculiar moment of Poland that faced uncertainty of identity upon its accession to the European Union. By adopting a method of critical discourse analysis, the author attests to the party’s political use of different layers of national traditions in denigrating Jews, sexual minorities and feminists while sanctifying the Polish nation.

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III. Political and Ideological Contexts of the LPR Discourse

Extract

Before moving on to the textual analysis of LPR discourse, this chapter offers political and ideological background information on the party. The first section describes major developments in the Polish political scene from 1989 to 2001. It starts with the description of the parliamentary evolution, i.e. the process of the elite’s building of democracy in the following three periods: 1) 1989-1993; 2) 1993-1997; and 3) 1997-2001. The second subsection then introduces the basic features of the marginal political groupings of the “Neo-Endecja,” which was excluded from the post-1989 parliament. The “authentic” heirs of pre-war Na- tional Democracy are divided into “radical” and “moderate” strands, the latter of which aspired to enter the main Polish political scene. The section presents the merger of such “moderate” nationalists, which led to the establishment of the League of Polish Families. The second section presents the LPR’s general political profile from 2001 to 2007. The first subsection examines the party’s core ideological program estab- lished on May 3, 2003, as well as its different election manifestos from the set period. The LPR’s claims will be minimally summarized under the following themes: a) the Polish nation-state governed by God’s law; b) the Polish family as the fundamental unit of human life and nation; and c) Polish economic and state sovereignty defended against the EU, especially Germany. While keeping in mind the positive outcome of the EU accession referendum held during the Fourth Term Sejm (2001-2005), the second subsection further discusses the LPR’s ideological shift from “hard...

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