Aleks Szczerbiak

Should the EU be concerned about a possible ‘Polexit’?

The Polish government has come into conflict with the EU’s institutions on several fronts, notably over judicial reforms and the relocation of refugees during the migration crisis. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that although opponents of the government accuse it of undermining the country’s ties with the EU, its supporters argue that the ruling party is committed to defending national interests […]

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    How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

The migration crisis has recently re-surfaced as a major issue in Poland, as its right-wing government came under pressure from the European Commission to comply with the EU’s relocation scheme. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that most Poles are keen to avoid the problems they feel West European countries have experienced through admitting large numbers of migrants. With the opposition uncertain how to respond, […]

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    How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

Analysing the results of a new expert survey, Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart write that Brexit has so far had a very limited impact on national party politics across Europe beyond the UK, particularly compared with the earlier Eurozone and migration crisis. While the longer-term, dynamic effects of Brexit on party Euroscepticism might be greater and there are a […]

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    Is Poland’s Civic Platform a serious threat to the ruling party?

Is Poland’s Civic Platform a serious threat to the ruling party?

Poland’s main opposition grouping, the Civic Platform, appears to have seen off its challengers and be drawing level with the ruling party in the polls. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that underestimating the opposition would be a serious mistake for the governing party. However, for many Poles the Civic Platform remains associated with the previous, discredited administration and does not yet […]

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How will Poland approach the Brexit negotiations?

Brexit means that Poland’s right-wing government is losing its most important EU ally and the opposition warns that the country could end up marginalised on the European periphery, writes Aleks Szczerbiak. But the government argues that Warsaw is a leader in debates on the EU’s future and is calling for a re-think of the trajectory of the European project. […]

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  • Permalink Protest on 17 December, Credit: Platforma Obywatelska RP (CC-BY-SA-2.0)Gallery

    Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

An occupation of the main legislative chamber and street demonstrations at the end of December, prompted by the exclusion of an opposition deputy following his protest against new parliamentary media rules, has precipitated a major political crisis in Poland. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that although the government has withdrawn its planned media regulations, the sit-in continued throughout Christmas with the […]

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Is Poland’s Law and Justice government losing momentum?

Although plunged immediately into a constitutional crisis that brought it into conflict with the European Commission, one year after its decisive parliamentary election victory Poland’s right-wing ruling party retains widespread support, in spite of coming again under fire over appointments to state-run companies and the abortion issue. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that the government’s fate will ultimately depend upon its […]

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    Hard choices and few soft options: The implications of Brexit for Euroscepticism across Europe

Hard choices and few soft options: The implications of Brexit for Euroscepticism across Europe

While much of the discussion surrounding Brexit has focused on the potential impact on the UK, the result of the EU referendum also has clear implications for Eurosceptic movements elsewhere in Europe. Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart argue that Brexit has made ‘Hard Euroscepticism’ a more viable political project for Eurosceptic parties, necessitating a rethink of how we conceptualise […]

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    Poland’s ruling party blames EU elites for Brexit and calls for Donald Tusk’s resignation

Poland’s ruling party blames EU elites for Brexit and calls for Donald Tusk’s resignation

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is expected to have an impact not only on British domestic politics, but on politics across Europe. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that Poland’s government, for whom Brexit means the loss of its main EU ally, blames the crisis on over-reach by the Union’s political elites, while the liberal and centrist opposition has argued that […]

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    Poland’s rock star-politician: What happened to Paweł Kukiz?

Poland’s rock star-politician: What happened to Paweł Kukiz?

A year ago rock star and social activist Paweł Kukiz caused a sensation when he finished a surprise third in the first round of the Polish presidential election. He held on to enough support for his new Kukiz ‘15 grouping to secure representation in the legislature after the October parliamentary election. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that Kukiz ‘15 has retained […]

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    Will Poland’s Law and Justice government respond to international pressure?

Will Poland’s Law and Justice government respond to international pressure?

Poland is currently experiencing a constitutional crisis, as the ruling Law and Justice party has come under international pressure over its actions in relation to the country’s constitutional tribunal. There is little indication that the government will back down, but, as Aleks Szczerbiak points out, the crisis is forcing it to expend valuable time and political capital defending its position on the international […]

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  • Permalink Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło in EP plenary debating the situation in Poland. Credits: European Parliament / FlickrGallery

    How will the EU’s ‘rule of law’ investigation affect Polish politics?

How will the EU’s ‘rule of law’ investigation affect Polish politics?

The European Commission is currently conducting an inquiry into judicial and media reforms introduced by the Law and Justice government in Poland. Aleks Szczerbiak analyses the way in which this investigation is going to affect the political dynamics within the country, and argues that the offensive against the ruling party’s policies may well prove to be a double-edged sword […]

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What are the prospects for Poland’s opposition?

Civic Platform, the former ruling party in Poland, suffered a clear defeat in the country’s parliamentary elections in October. However, as Aleks Szczerbiak writes, the polarisation of politics during the first few weeks of the new Law and Justice administration have integrated the opposition and allowed it to mobilise support around the claim that the government is undermining democracy; […]

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How will Poland’s Law and Justice party govern?

Poland’s new right-wing government has prioritised implementation of the expensive social spending pledges that were critical to its election victory. However, its determination to radically reform the Polish state has drawn accusations of authoritarianism from the opposition while the new prime minister has yet to stamp her authority on the administration. Aleks Szczerbiak assesses all of the main players in the new […]

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    Law and Justice’s stunning victory in Poland reflected widespread disillusionment with the country’s ruling elite

Law and Justice’s stunning victory in Poland reflected widespread disillusionment with the country’s ruling elite

What does the recent parliamentary election in Poland tell us about the country’s politics? Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the victory secured by the right-wing opposition party Law and Justice stemmed from widespread disillusionment with Poland’s ruling elite. He notes that the usual strategy employed by the ruling party, Civic Platform, of trying to mobilise the ‘politics of fear’ against […]

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    What does Law and Justice’s election victory in Poland mean for Europe?

What does Law and Justice’s election victory in Poland mean for Europe?

Poland held parliamentary elections on 25 October, with the conservative Law and Justice party defeating the incumbent Civic Platform government. Aleks Szczerbiak assesses what the election result means for Poland’s relations with Europe. He writes that although the campaign was dominated by domestic issues, Law and Justice’s victory could herald a substantial shift in the country’s foreign policy. However, […]

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    Polish election: A final look at the parties and the campaign

Polish election: A final look at the parties and the campaign

Poland will hold parliamentary elections on 25 October. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that opinion polls suggest the right-wing opposition, Law and Justice, will emerge as the largest party following the election. However, given that no political grouping in post-communist Poland has ever secured an overall parliamentary majority, and the party’s shortage of potential coalition partners, there is still a chance […]

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    Who won Poland’s ‘referendum war’ and how will it affect the October election?

Who won Poland’s ‘referendum war’ and how will it affect the October election?

A three part referendum was held in Poland on 6 September, which included a proposal to introduce single-member ‘first past the post’ constituencies in Polish parliamentary elections. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the referendum, which was called by the ruling Civic Platform party and was supposed to benefit charismatic ‘anti-system’ political independent Paweł Kukiz, ended in fiasco with fewer than […]

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Can Civic Platform still win the 2015 Polish election?

Poland will hold its next parliamentary election in October. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the country’s current ruling party, Civic Platform, has launched a fightback following its shock defeat in Poland’s presidential election in May. However, he notes that the political fundamentals are still working in the opposition’s favour and that Paweł Kukiz, an ‘anti-system’ rock star-turned-politician, could emerge as […]

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    Law and Justice now have the momentum in the lead up to Poland’s general election

Law and Justice now have the momentum in the lead up to Poland’s general election

Andrzej Duda of the opposition Law and Justice party secured a surprise victory in Poland’s presidential election on 24 May. Aleks Szczerbiak writes on what the election result means for the country ahead of the more significant parliamentary elections due to be held later this year. He notes that Duda’s success suggests the ruling Civic Platform government can no […]

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