Knowledge Bridges Between Poland, Britain and Europe

Knowledge Bridges Between Poland, Britain and Europe

Nearly 30 years after its democratic breakthrough, Poland poses a puzzling and fascinating case for scholars, public intellectuals, and journalists. Has Warsaw since 2015 truly witnessed an "illiberal turn", or rather a "democratic regeneration"? To what extent can we speak of a continuation of the transformation's logic, and to what extent is this a construction of a new state model by the current Polish government? In this context, the country’s intellectual, social, economic and political ties to Britain, and other parts of Europe seem more important than ever. The project Knowledge Bridges Between Poland, Britain and Europe, generously supported by the Oxford Noble Foundation, aim to look more closely at these and other currents of change in a comparative and international context.

The project will run throughout the academic year 2016-17. Events to be held in Hilary Term (January – March 2017) will include the annual Kołakowski Lecture on March 3, 2017, and a full day international conference on March 4, entitled "'Illiberal Democracy'? Poland in Comparative European Perspective". The invited speakers will elaborate and explore current political changes in Poland in a rigorous comparative framework.

There will also be four seminars in February and March at St Antony’s College focusing on topics including Poland’s relationship to the European Union, inequalities, radicalisation of public debate, and the migrant crisis in contemporary Poland in a comparative perspective.  All of this will be complemented by ongoing online dissemination. See full programme of events here.

The supervising Fellow is Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow, St. Antony’s College.

The co-Directors of the project are Dr Jaroslaw Kuisz and Dr Karolina Wigura, to whom all substantive queries should be addressed.

The project administrator is Dr Dorian Singh who can be contacted here.

Dr Karolina Wigura is assistant professor at Institute of Sociology, Warsaw University, and head of the Political Section of the Polish political and cultural weekly Kultura Liberalna. She studied at University of Warsaw and Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. She was the first POMP (Programme on Modern Poland) Visiting Fellow in 2016 at St. Antony’s, Oxford, and is Marshall Memorial Fellowship Alumni and former visiting fellow at Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.


Dr Jaroslaw Kuisz is assistant professor at Faculty of Law and Administration, Warsaw University, Chercheur étranger associé w Institut d’histoire du temps present at CNRS in Paris, and editor-in-chief of the Polish political and cultural weekly Kultura Liberalna. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, University of Oxford and Columbia University. He is also a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow.




The partners of the Project include University of Warsaw, Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, and Kultura Liberalna Foundation.