ISSUE: 3/2019

  • Volume 23
  • Number 3
  • 2019


Studia Europejskie –
Studies in European Affairs

ISSN: 1428-149X
e-ISSN: 2719-3780

Ccbync License


Articles published in the journal are under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International License

The Road to Autocratization? Redefining Democracy in Poland


The present paper explores how political thinking in Poland changed after the election campaigns (general and presidential) of 2015. Its main goal is to determine what the current developments mean for the future of democracy in Poland. Will Poland face a new wave of autocratization – similar to Pilsudski’s one? The paper is based on empirical research conducted during the last
presidential and general elections in Poland. An e-survey covering 10,000 respondents was conducted, out of whom over 4,000 left their data for further analysis. The main aim of the study was to find a connection between patterns of political thinking and electoral behavior, demonstrating a link between one’s set of political values and one’s voting decisions. The ruling party in Poland openly refers to esthetics and rhetoric of an authoritarian regime introduced by Pilsudski. Its election slogan: “A good change” has been treated as reference to the interwar concept of “sanacja” driven from the Latin term “sanatio” which means to cleanse or to heal. The
main goal of the Sanacja political group was to amend the then parliamentary democracy, which they believed was corrupt and inefficient. The authors of the paper try to present recent patterns and changes in the electorate. In its summary, the paper includes some predictions for the future of the Polish democracy, based on empirical data and observed actions of the ruling party.


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Language: English

Pages: 121-132

How to Cite:


Szczepański, J. and Kalina, P. (2019) "The Road to Autocratization? Redefining Democracy in Poland". Studia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs, 3/2019, pp. 121-132. DOI: 10.33067/SE.3.2019.6