1. bookVolume 16 (2020): Issue 1 (April 2020)
Journal Details
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16 Apr 2015
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2 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Which conservatism? The identity of the Polish Law and Justice party

Published Online: 31 Mar 2020
Page range: 159 - 188
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

This article deals with Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS), considered a conservative party in the scholarly literature. Drawing largely on party manifestos, the article demonstrates the character, the specificities and the evolution of the party’s identity and ideology. A theoretical basis for the undertaking is provided by Klaus von Beyme’s concept of party families, Arend Lijphart’s seven ideological dimensions and classic texts on conservatism. The analysis finds that the most important components in PiS’s current identity are Catholicism itself and the great emphasis the party places on the role of the Catholic Church. Also important for the party’s identity are visions of a nation conceived on ethnic principle, a strong and active state able to form society with a national spirit, anti-communism and a negation of developments in Poland since 1989. A substantial role is played by the quasi-religiously conceived legacy of the party’s co-founder, Lech Kaczyński, who tragically perished in an aircraft crash. With its Catholic-nationalist profile, PiS is close to the Christian current within the conservative New Right, and to Polish National Democracy in the interwar period.

Keywords

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