Agrarian Populism in Poland: Peasant's political identity and mobilisation from democratisation to communism (1880-1989)

Abstract : This chapter deals with the progressive political mobilisation of peasantry in Poland, its institutionalisation, mainly in inter-war period, and its political appropriation by the Communist regime after 1945, when State socialism needed to ground itself in Polish national history and political traditions. These various mobilisations could be labelled as ‘populist’ because of their peasantist components and ideological trends, but the chapter considers them rather as a political form of representation, which political uses by actors fluctuate according historical contexts. The first part analyses the emergence of peasant movement and the success of peasant political parties in pre-1939 Poland. The second part shows how formers activists of these parties tried to produce themselves as the only historical heirs of the peasant movement, in opposition to the new, Leninist, peasant party of the Communist Poland. In the third and last part, the chapter analyses how the Communist official peasant party, the ZSL, invented new political traditions, mainly by historicising strategies, in the aim to encapsulate the peasant form of representation in its identity.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 26, 2017 - 9:55:20 AM
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Frédéric Zalewski. Agrarian Populism in Poland: Peasant's political identity and mobilisation from democratisation to communism (1880-1989). Research in Political Sociology, Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2014, The Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives, 22, pp.101-126. ⟨10.1108/S0895-993520140000022004⟩. ⟨halshs-01546801⟩

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