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Do Entrepreneurial Parties Make Any Difference for Liberal Democracy? The Case of Poland

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Comparative Politics
Democracy
Political Parties
Beata Kosowska-Gąstoł
Jagiellonian University
Beata Kosowska-Gąstoł
Jagiellonian University
Katarzyna Sobolewska-Myślik
Institute of Political Science Pedagogical University Kraków Poland

Abstract

Economic crisis together with the overall crisis of liberal democracy have caused social discontent and disappointment with existing mainstream parties, which have been blamed for not being able to cope with these crises. At the same time new parties which have presented themselves as an alternative, have appeared and entered parliaments. Some of them can be regarded as entrepreneurial ones. In the case of Poland this is the Palikot Movement, which managed to overcome the electoral threshold in 2011 and Kukiz’15, which did the same four years later. Both organizations have criticized the mainstream parties and political elites for their failure to exercise power according to the norms and values of representative democracy. Some of those critical remarks were also aimed at the norms of representative democracy as such. Therefore they also proposed some alternatives and innovations arising from the vision of new politics. The aim of the paper is to address the question of whether these parties really do what they have claimed they are going to do, particularly whether they use innovations related to alternative forms of democracy (direct, participatory, deliberative) in their own structures and after entering parliament try to put it on the state agenda. In order to answer this question, party statutes, legislative initiatives and MPs’ speeches will be analyzed