In his Jan. 8 article in the The Nation, “Regime Change in Poland, Carried Out From Within,” Professor of Political Science David Ost examines Poland’s ruling reigning political party, the Law and Justice party (PiS), and its abandonment of “the institutions of liberal democracy in the raw pursuit of power.”
Ost argues that in the few months since the party took office, its leaders have “pursued an uncompromising revolution” that “deserves the strongest international condemnation for its campaign against democracy, its disregard for the rule of law, its dangerous vilification of critics. Yet any rejection of PiS that continues to ignore the social base of the discontent that brought it about will only produce a stronger and more ruthless right-wing backlash in the future.”
The 2010-15 Joseph DiGangi Professor of Political Science, Ost has written widely on Eastern European politics and society, with a focus on political economy, democratization, capitalism and labor. He is the author of several books on communist and postcommunist society, including “The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Postcommunist Society,” which received the Ed A. Hewett Book Prize for Best Book in Political Economy, and which, after being published in Polish translation in 2007, has played a significant role in Polish political debates. His essays have been published in a number of scholarly and popular journals, such as Politics and Society, European Journal of Social Theory, Theory and Society, East European Politics and Society, European Journal of Industrial Relations, The Nation, Dissent, Telos, and Tikkun. Ost currently serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Society, East European Politics and Societies, Polish Sociological Review and Studie Socjologiczne. In 2005, former Polish President Lech Walesa presented Ost with a special medal issued for the 25th Anniversary of Solidarity.