Przegląd Zachodni

The Faces of Democracy

The Faces of Democracy
  • Binding: paperback
  • Author: collective work
  • Publisher: Instytut Zachodni
  • PL ISSN: 0033-2437
  • Publication date: 20 April 2022
  • Number: 4/2021
  • Number of pages: 174
  • Size: A5

Whether in public debate or daily communication, imprecise language may cause confusion and even complete misunderstandings, putting dialogue at risk. Debates need to be embedded in tradition and culture, without which concepts will no longer serve as keys to understanding and shaping the world and instead become lockpicks at the service of demagogues. Therefore, confronted rapidly changing political, economic, and social landscapes, every generation needs to embrace and refocus on their basic concepts.

This issue of Przegląd Zachodni addresses the contradictions, polarizations, challenges, and efforts to reach consensuses as seen through the lens of various faces of democracy. It highlights theoretical analyses of the concepts of democracy, influences on public opinion and debate asymmetries, as well as the metrics of the state of democracy in European countries. The conclusions are hardly surprising as they confirm the blatant backsliding in states that until recently have been considered model democracies. Such relapses are observed in both Western Europe and in the Central and East European states that underwent massive transformations in the 1990s. Another counterpoint is provided in a paper on the mechanisms of civic engagement in the Russian Federation, which prompts one to compare the different ways in which states have either used the three decades for social and systemic advancement or allowed them to go to waste. On the other hand, a treatise on generational biographies from Germany tackles the opportunities for cultivating the ideals of sensitivity and humanitarianism afforded by dramatic experiences. All this supports the assertion that values require constant care and nurturing and cannot be taken for granted in the ever-changing realities of this age.

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