Counter-Elites and Populism in Poland, seminar by Dr Stanley Bill

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The idea of the "counter-elite" in the discourse & political practice of Poland's current ruling coalition and the sphere of civil society.

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The Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA) is pleased to invite to a lecture titled: Counter-Elites and Populism in Poland, by Dr Stanley Bill, the Director of Polish Studies Programme at the University of Cambridge.

This presentation will look at the idea of the "counter-elite" in the discourse and political practice of Poland's current ruling coalition, paying particular attention to the sphere of civil society.

The populism of Law and Justice (PiS) is not hostile to elites per se, but posits a Manichaean conflict between the "wrong" elite and "the nation" — represented, in turn, by the "true" (counter-)elite.

Accordingly, the party's ambitious programme of change demands the replacement of the old "establishment elite" and the institution of what leader Jarosław Kaczyński calls a "new social hierarchy".

Bio: Stanley Bill is Senior Lecturer in Polish Studies and Director of the Polish Studies Programme at the University of Cambridge. He works on contemporary Polish politics and twentieth-century Polish literature and culture. He has written on monism and pluralism in Polish politics (with Ben Stanley), civil society, postcolonial theory in the Polish context, legacies of Polish Romanticism, and the works of Czesław Miłosz and Bruno Schulz. He is the founder and editor-at-large of the news and opinion website "Notes from Poland", where he also hosts the NfP Podcast.


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