Politicising the Communist Past
  • Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Member Price: Free
  • Non-member Price: £ 5
  • Entry price includes a glass of wine.

A Discussion on Truth Revelation in Post-Communist Poland

It is impossible to make sense of today’s Polish political scene without understanding contemporary debates about the nature of the country’s communist past and disagreements about its contested transition to democracy. Prof Aleks Szczerbiak’s book, published as part of Routledge’s prestigious British Association for Russian and East European Studies series, examines why disagreements about transitional justice, vetting officials and public authority figures for their links with the former communist security services – a process known as ‘lustration’ – and opening up these services’ extant files for public inspection, became one of the main causes of political divisions in post-1989 Poland.

Poland is a fascinating case of how post-communist states have dealt with their past because the lustration and file access issue keeps recurring in the country’s political debates. It does so because these processes are felt by some to be part of the ‘unfinished business’ of the country’s democratic transition and an important means of revealing the hidden mechanisms and informal elite networks which many politicians and commentators have argued distort the working of democracy in the post-communist state.

Prof Szczerbiak will discuss his book with Professor Andrzej Zybertowicz, a sociologist from the Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń specialising in the links between the former communist security services and post-communist elites.



Aleks Szczerbiak, author of Politicising the Communist Past, University of Sussex

Andrzej Zybertowicz, Mikołaj Kopernik University



Jonathan Luxmoore

Communist Past Author 300

Prof. Aleks Szczerbiak

Embassy 300

This event has been organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

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