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Illiberal Poland

Anton Shekhovtsov and Peter Pomerantsev warn of the rise of what they term “illiberal democracy” in East-Central Europe, not least Poland, where the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) came to power in October (“The new nationalism,” March). They rightly highlight the dilemma this poses for Brussels, suggesting that the European Union needs to “talk above the heads of the Polish government to its population.”

One month on, the Polish government continues to shrug offinternational criticism, most recently by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which deemed the protracted constitutional crisis a danger not just to rule of law, but to democracy and human rights. Jarosław Kaczynski, the PiS leader, maintains that “we will solve Polish disputes ourselves.” Poles are broadly pro-European, but a situation in which criticism of PiS’s actions is equated with criticism of Poland needs to be avoided. Unfortunately, it has already begun.

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In Prospect’s April issue: Sam Tanenhaus profiles Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican Party Presidential nomination and asks if Trump makes it to the Oval Office, what would he do? Stephen Glover, examines what is happening at the Guardian as the newspaper looks to cut costs. Ferdinand Mount says Tony Blair transformed Britain but he should have cared more about the Labour Party. Also in this issue: Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI5, says that Brexit would not damage the UK’s security and Christopher de Bellaigue questions whether France’s clampdown on radicals is having the right effect. Plus Miranda France looks at the legacy of Don Quixote and the Duel asks: “Should the Church of England be disestablished”?
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