Chapter

Between Old Fears and New Challenges

Magdalena Góra and Zdzisław Mach

in European Stories

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594627
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595738 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594627.003.0012
Between Old Fears and New Challenges

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Magdalena Góra and Zdzisław Mach aim to describe and understand the contemporary Polish debate about Europe against the background of the development of views on Europe in the 20th century. The starting point for their analysis is the regaining of the state's independence in 1918 and the accompanying debate about the place of the newly established country in interwar Europe. In particular, Góra and Mach highlight the virulent anti‐Germanism of rhetoric under Communism and the responses by intellectuals such as Adam Michnik, who claim that Europe is the only guarantee against a harmful return of nationalism. In the second part of the chapter, contemporary problems such as the “security vacuum” problem, NATO accession and Poland's liminal position are discussed. The chapter concentrates on reconstruction of the major voices regarding the costs and benefits of integration processes, as well as the self‐perception of Poles as Europeans.

Keywords: anti‐Germanism; security vacuum; NATO; Adam Michnik; communism

Chapter.  9675 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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