Chapter 8: Discourses of collective dignity, the state of exception and the twilight of the rule of law: the case of Poland and beyond
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The chapter aims to identify how the constitutional concept of dignity is re-interpreted in so-called populist countries in order to serve new, anti-liberal goals. Drawing upon the example of Poland under the populist government (2015-), the chapter investigates the relationship between this new form of a hybrid post-democratic and quasi-authoritarian regime and the understanding of dignity. The model of anti-constitutional strategies of the Polish populists consists in reactivating the political against the law with the use of nationalism-imbued discourses that privilege the concept of collective dignity of the nation. The effective suspension of the Constitutional Court constituted the founding stone of Polish quasi-authoritarianism and gave rise to re-interpretations of dignity. Based on this example, the chapter demonstrates how the far-right coalition used anti-legal discourses with clear references to collective dignity in order to undermine the rule of law.

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