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Democratic Audit of Poland 2014


Radosław Markowski, Michał Kotnarowski, Michał Wenzel and Marta Żerkowska-Balas

The book is a study of the state of the Polish democracy and focuses on the years 2012 and 2013. It explores available documents and statistical data, offers a collection of experts' judgments, and analyses public opinion research. Ten domains of democracy are covered, some of them as fundamental as the rule of law, the political community or public administration. The study evaluates contemporary Polish democracy as consolidated and assesses it as reasonably effective, although a number of clear shortcomings call for improvements.
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The state of Polish democracy of 2012–2013 is assessed as satisfactory, or even good, especially when analysed against Central Europe. In this respect the results of our audit are in accordance with numerous international projects assessing similar issues when the same period of time is considered, namely Freedom House Ranking, Bertelsmann Transformative Index and Rule of Law Index. Using the sport metaphor it might be stated that in all of these rankings the Polish democracy makes it “to the medals”, as it usually occupies the honourable second or third place behind the safe leader, which is Estonia. In fact, however, the place itself is less important than the dynamics of changes in time; even at the beginning of the current millennium Poland was behind the leaders of the region in many aspects.

Our initiative to study the state of Polish democracy every 2 years is an endeavour complementary to the abovementioned projects. It differs from them in that it is a more detailed analysis. Unlike those projects, ours is not only a comparative attempt. For that reason we make use in our audit of international comparisons. It is especially important in the first “pilot” edition of the Democratic Audit of Poland. In the future our project is to become a permanent element of the Polish public scene. Over the years our analysis will be diachronically comparable as the subsequent reports will refer to this benchmark audit.Due to the fact that this study is opening the whole series,...

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