Political Culture of Polish Society
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Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2019-12-27
Studia Politologiczne 2014;31
New phenomena have appeared in the political culture of the Polish society and they have both good and bad sides. Certain values and models of behaviour are the factors that stimulate the system reforms and promote the formation of consolidated democracy, while some have dysfunctional effects. It can be said on the example of trust in public institutions that changes in political culture have occurred within the axiological and evaluative-affective component. The citizens’ demands towards politicians increased and criticism in assessing them grew. This can be a factor stimulating the quality of democracy. A certain temporary crisis in social trust in Polish parliament can be felt. This is the worse side of the ongoing processes. However, this does not mean that Polish society rejects pluralistic democracy and its mechanisms. On the other hand, a considerable part of the political elites are assessed negatively since – in the opinion of many citizens – they do not meet the standards required by developed parliamentary democracy. The role of the new media in political communication is growing and this is going to be a factor affecting political culture. The new possibilities should potentially facilitate the processes of improving the way of the functioning of the democratic system, if only through stimulating the public debate. However, at present it is more likely that the growth of the Internet use in the sphere of politics and the development of political culture will proceed according to a scenario called technorealism20. It means that people who are active in various domains of social life, including the sphere of politics, and who use the Internet will have bigger and better chances to acquire and create information on political subjects. The possibilities of the Internet, on the other hand, will not make people who are not very active and who are not interested in politics get interested in this sphere of social life and participate in it. Besides, a considerable part of the citizens do not use the Internet. This group can be called a group of digital marginalization. For them, the possibilities of information and political participation created by the new media are still a utopia.
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