Reversing the wave: the perverse effects of economic liberalism on human rights

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This article takes the conservative shift in Polish politics under PiS as an example and argues that the failure of the liberal economy could end up reversing the fast-forward wave in human rights. And because Poland is a relatively new member of the EU, the article also develops the argument that such a reversal in the new member countries could make the European Un- ion’s (EU) acquis irrelevant for further democratisation. Therefore, the article first explains how the failure of the economic liberalism of the neo-liberal mar- ket economy paves the way for the success of conservative political parties. It then raises the question of why political liberalism, promoted by the EU’s human rights acquis, is also a target for the opponents of the market economy. The article concludes with a discussion of current Polish politics in the after- math of the October 2007 elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-590
Number of pages20
JournalSociologický casopis/Czech Sociological Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • economic liberalism
  • politics
  • human rights
  • Poland


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