World of Ideas and Politics

Volume 3

World of Ideas and Politics
Volume 3/2003

Table of contents:
Studies and analysis:

  • Czesław Mojsiewicz: The role of the public opinion in politics
  • Janusz Golinowski: Dimensions of presenting political debates in media
  • Katarzyna Polus-Rogalska: Freedom, justice, equal rights versus ethic commnunication
  • Agnieszka Wedeł: Bioethics as a moral and legal problem - a study of some selected cases
  • Maria Ślężak: What does the affirmative action affirm?
  • Sławomir Baczulis: The idea of balanced development in final documents of the Earh Summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg
  • Marcin Jastrzębski: Political pluralism in Turkey in the light of the judicial decisions of theEuropen Court of human Rights
  • Kamila Piłat: The evolution of the Green Party.s electorate in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Sławomir Sadowski: The NATO - from the cold war to an antiterrorist syndrome
  • Tomasz Kuczur: A political thought of the United Peasants Party in 1988-1989

Book reviews:

  • Michał Kosman: Jerzy Łukaszewski: The aim: Europe. Nine essays Of builders of the europen unity
  • Jarosław Nocoń: Małgorzata Stefaniuk: Vilfrid Paret's theory of elites
  • Artur Laska: Edmund Mokrzycki: Unsentimental balance

Czesław Mojsiewicz:

The role of the public opinion in politics
The paper touchcs on the up-to-date problem concerning the role of the public opinion in politics. The process of democratic transformation causes and must cause an increase in the role the citizens play in coping with various matters and makine appropriate decisions. The thing is that those who decide should take the public opinion into consideration. Specialised institutes carry out polls pointing in this way at the atmosphere and the opinion of the pubic. Spokespersons also play their important role. In fact the efficient governing is hardly possible without knowing the public opinion, which particularly matters during the election campaign. The author takes up a number of problems regarding the poll and moulding the public opinion.

Janusz Golinowski:

Dimensions of presenting political debates in media
The accepted scheme of explanation tries to analyse the effect the multimedia techniques have on realizing a model of more active participation of people in public life in which medialisation of politics is becoming an inseparable element. Therefore, teledemocracy which means interactive communication betwcen particular segments of the authority is the basic challenge of contemporary times. However, the main problem of democracy in the era of multimedia is a dissonance between active participation of citizens in public life with a simultaneous conscious choice of political programs and a form of unconscious participation in the performance the polities provides people with transforming it in to .consumption of polities... Quoting the opinions of scholars representing different scientific disciplines, the author points at various faces of teledemocraey, and at the same time, at the consequences of politics medialisation. The author suugests that if politics is only reduced to struggle for power techniques it loses its essence. Such attitude leads to an extreme relativism in comprehending social interests, as well as to political cynicism. It is also a challenge for modern Polish democracy, and maybe particularly for the Polish political reality loaded with spontaneous processes of transformation.

Katarzyna Polus-Rogalska:

Freedom, justice, equal rights versus ethic communication
So far no thinker has seemed to define the idea called .freedom of communication. being a syndrome of contemporary times and the future society of computer science in which information tends to be the most important .matter.. No one has defined either what freedom of communication is to become or what it consists in. What are its conditions and restrictions, not mentioning its essence? The paper tries to outline the contemporary comprehension of freedom including justice and equal rights, as well as their ethic relations to communication.
Freedom, justice and equal rights are currently very distinct and intensive on the Internet which is becoming more and more popular. The Internet is a comparatively new means of social communication and extremely different from others known so far. Its technological possibilities give everyone a chance of sending information to people all over the world making it generally available. l-Iowever, these new possibilities bring into existence moral dilemmas not occuring before. Lots of them have already appeared with great sharpness. We should expect further problems to emerge the more so as the access to the Internet is being widespread and technological restrictions concerning the capacity of the ncetwork system seem to he gradually removed.
As it results from the undertaken considerations, the problems of freedom, justice and equal rights on the Internet are very significant and current. The relations and mutual dependences occurring among the three ideas and appearing during analyses seem to be very interesting. Freedom and equal rights are supposed to be dependent on justice which, in turn, is subject to law and truth. Hence, the conclusion is that ethical reflection is of minor significance while searching for solving ethical dilemmas regarding the Internet. These problems must be regulated according to the law. It is also worth noticing that there exists an urgent need of further studies on the problem of communication ethic, particularly in the new future society of computer science.

Agnieszka Wedeł:

Bioethics as a moral and legal problem - a study of some selected cases
The paper presents man as a human being who must cope with ethical problems every day and who faces new bioethical challenges. Since everyone has a right to derive his ideas and views from different systems of values, it seemed indispensable to present the controversial issues in broad outline in order to concentrate on common problems.
As far as the particular ethical issues are concerned, the paper starts from analyzing the beginning of human life and its threat which is abortion. Then the author focuses on the problems concerning man.s life and its dangers that, at the same time, may save other People.s lives due to transplanting organs. Finally, the problem of euthanasia and the challenges it poses for the contemporary communities cannot be treated indifferently.
The analysis of particular issues tried to show the significance of systems of values in some religions widespread and also attempted to point to legal solutions characteristic for international law and the one functioning in a given country. Finally, analyzing the problem of abortion, the paper subjects to the European judicial decision about human rights.

Marta Ślężak:

What does affirmative action affirm?
The paper tries to define the concept of affirmative action presented against the background of other instruments (such as positive discrimination and the politics of equal opportunity) that overcome marginalisation of social groups based mainly on racial criterion.
The author also portrays a historic evolution of affirmative action from non-discrimination to preferences and compensating treatment, as well as from displacing accents from colorblindness towards race-conscious remedies. Simultaneously, the considerations have been shown in the light of present discussion on the usefulness of this kind of solulions, which, in the author.s opinion, is based on dissimilar views regarding socially signiticant values.

Sławomir Baczulis:

The idea of balanced development in final documents of the Earth Summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg
The process of civilization and cultural development at growing ecological crisis requires pro-ecological comprehensive changes in all spheres of public life. Their base should become an idea defined as "balanced development" whose essence is aspiration for harmonizing social and economic spheres of man's life with nature. The result of the harmony comprehended in this way may influence the quality of life increasing its natural and cultural values and steering it towards justice within species, generations, and regions.
The balanced development include transformations in economy, society, technique and space, all aiming at securing welfare for the present and future generations, as well as durability and variety of nature including each aspect of human life. All the processes may take place due to securing a demanded quality of environment and people.s health, nature conservation, understanding pro-ecological trends in politics and economy including rational using of natural resources (renewable and nonrenewable). The mentioned above issues in the context of the balanced development idea are quoted by signatories of final documents at the Earth Summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg.
The paper presents an outline of methods of realising and achieving aims in spheres of society, politics, economy, and nature . according to the idea of balanced development included in the Declaration front Rio on Environment and Development (the Earth Charter), the Global Program of Action Agenda 21, Political Declaration of Johannesburg on the Balanced Development, and the Scheme of Action pointing at fighting against poverty not destroying natural resources of the Earth.

Marcin Jastrzębski:

Political pluralism in Turkey in the light of the judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights
The paper outlines the process of creating institutions of political pluralism in Turkey and discusses the origins of the present state of Turkey and political parties operating in it.
The author deals with the limits of political pluralism which are practically created by the Turkish Constitutional Tribunal that has rights to solve political groups propagating postulates or acting not in agreement with the Constitution of 1982. It should be admitted that the limits of the pluralism shaped by the interpretation of the law and the judicial decisions of the Turkish Tribunal are narrowed down. Within the latest years, 15 political parties were dissolved. Four groups appealed against the decision to the European Court ot human Rights in Strasbourg. The present paper presents reasons of dissolving the parties and the Strasbourg Tribunal.s assessment concerning the legitimacy of the decision. In case of the three suing parties, the Tribunal stated that the solution was not in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights. Only one party was dissolved complying with European standards of human rights, although in this case the judges detected a series of imprecision (the sentence was voted 4 to 3).
Turkey has been trying to become a member of the European Union for many years. A large team of opponents who object to integration of this state exists within the structures of the EU. One of the crucial arguments against membership of Turkey in the European Union is its failure to comply with the law. Therefore, in order to become a rightful member of the European Community, Turkey must adjust its law and, first and foremost. its practical application to the standards of human rights. This also concerns political pluralism and freedom of organizing which seem to be the most signiticant matters.

Kamila Piłat:

The evolution of the Green Party's electorate in the Federal Republic of Germany
The beginning of the eighties in the FRG brought a significant change on the political scene, which manifested in creating a new party . the Greens (Die Grunen). It is due to their electorate that the Greens take an important place in the German political system. The party is characterized by its openness to new problems and new solutions, which resulted in gaining a wide electorate.
The article analyses the evolution of .the Green electoral potential. drawing a particular attention to the social and psychological structure of the voters and their motives to cast their votes on the Green Party. The Greens electorate gathers young people who belong to the middle class, dwell in urban areas, are well educated and subscribe to post-material values. The voters are motivated by problems of the environmental threats the Greens undertake, as well as by dissatisfaction and criticism of the FRG.s political systern. Finally, they want to present and manifest a new lifestyle.
The author suggests that the forecast concerning ability of the .Green electorate. for the nearest years should be optimistic providing that no spectacular little known events take place as they could question the loyalty of the Greens. electoral potential.

Sławornir Sadowski:

The NATO - from the cold war to an antiterrorist syndrome
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation started to exist in 1949. Its aim was to create conditions to defend the western world against dangers of the Soviet aggession. Since the Soviet bloc collapsed, the question has arisen what role the Organisation should play in the new political conditions of the Euro-Atlantic area. Its members unanimously declared that the alliance was to face significant challenges in the new reality. In years 1990.2003, the aims, tasks, strategies and structures of the NATO were unceasingly adopted to new requirements. The essential changes aimed at widening the area of safety guaranteed by the alliance, as well as at creating and shaping instruments of its activity outside the Washington Treaty.
The widening of the alliance took place in practice in 1997 when the decisions about co optating Poland, Czechs and Hungary were taken. Continuing the process, the NATO summit held in Prague in 2002, decided on accepting other countries from Central and Eastern Europe and creating specific relationships with Russia and Ukraine.
The other essential aim of doctrinal transformation of the oranisation was a decision concerning an active participation for safety outside the Treaty. As a result, the alliance forces started to stabilize the areas included into armed conflicts (Bosnia, Hercegovina. Macedonia, Albania), and then they took part in making peace in Bosnia, Hercegovina and Kosovo. The process was intensified after the terrorist attack in the USA in 2001, which made the alliance forces become involved in the pursuit of terrorists in the regions outside Europe (Afghanistan). Consequently, the NATO countries face a question whether to preserve the original character of the alliance or to tend towards an organization of global leatures. So far the answer to the dilemma has not been made up unambiguously.

Tomasz Kuczur:

A political thought of the United Peasants. Party in 1988.1989
The referendum of 29 November, 1987 was a particularly significant moment for the Polish People's Repubic's political system functioning. The second in the history of the Polish People.s Republic reterendum coincided with the campaign before the 10th stated as historical, Congress of the United Peasants. Party (UPP). Its actual output was not imposing, however, it coincided chronologically with the appearing end of some political era in the history of the communist Poland. At that time a new social and political situation started to he moulded, which consequently brought to changes of system character.
The article attempts to present real aspiratiolis of some activists of the UPP guiding to modernizing the political systenl that functioned in years 1988.89. The author tries to show promoted at that time and more concrete conceptions of the system changes in order to make it, as it was defined, equivalent for all thc subjects appearing in it, i.e. the Polish United Workers. Party, the United Peasants. Party and the Democratic Party.
Much attention was also paid to the standpoint the UPP.s representatives held during the debates of the "Round Table" and their attitude towards the most essential issues discussed there. It turned out that politicians representing the party possessed neither definite nor analysed earlicr political plan. The participation of the UPP. s representatives in the negotiations was of secondary importance. They did not present more developed conceptions concerning system, political, union or economic issues, but only the problems of the country and agriculture which traditionally are the most essential ones for the party.