Poland after 1989 and Canada after the “Trudeau Revolution”: Comparing the Emergence of “National Democracy” and Late-Modern “Liberal Democracy”

The following paper was presented at the conference “After the End of Revolution: Constitutional Order amid the Crisis of Democracy,” co-organized by the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute and the National Research University Higher School of Economics, September 1–2, 2017, Moscow. For additional details about the conference as well as other upcoming events, please visit the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute website.

This presentation compares two societies, which, although both claim to be “Western” as well as vibrant liberal democracies, are in many aspects quite different. Those societies have been shaped by their history and political culture to evolve in quite different directions. Nevertheless, they can both be seen as “post-revolutionary” societies.

Poland has had a very checkered history, from being a Great Power, to disappearing from the map of Europe, which has contributed to a strongly “erotic” sense of belonging among the Poles. Poland after 1989—the so-called Third Republic—has been in the difficult process of attempting a restoration of a more traditional Polish society, whose organic evolution and development had been so cruelly interrupted since 1939.

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The Conquest of the North: A Modern Idea with a Mythical Twist

The following paper was presented at the Seventh Annual Telos Conference, held on February 15–17, 2013, in New York City.

Province of Québec’s territory is vast, and much of it has been left in what could be considered a “natural” state. Today’s paper will focus on one particular region called Abitibi-Témiscamingue, located on the west side of the province, but north of Montreal (which is why we usually refer to it as a northern area).

Abitibi-Témiscamingue has been occupied for more than 8000 years, with the latest occupants being the Algonquins (the Abitibi and the Témiscamingue being the two main groups of Natives living there when Europeans arrived). While their presence has been known since the first French merchants came in the 1700s to trade fur, it is only around 1837–38 that Montreal’s Bishop decided to “take care” of these poor souls and sent missionaries to convert them. In 1863, the Oblate missionaries founded a permanent mission and from there, travelled the entire territory.

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