The Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics
Category Archives: Poland
On November 12, 2016, The Ninth Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics covered a number of problems related to Poland’s past and presence, such as the Jewish autonomy in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, rigged elections in January 1947, energy and cyber security in the EU as well as the reasons for emigration of the youngest generation of Poles in the 21st century.
The program of the conference entailed the following five lectures: The Energy Outlook – United States, Europe, and Poland
Mr. Adam Sieminski, U.S. Department of Energy, discussed the international energy outlook and challenges to energy security in the United States and in Europe. Paradise of the Jews in Towns and Cities of Poland-Lithuania 1300-1795
Mr. Michael V. Szpindor Watson, George Mason University Ph.D. Candidate, elaborated on the disagreement between whether the Jews were treated better in royal or private noble towns. He analyzed where peace was best fostered, comparing the two types of towns. The Foundational Lie of Communist Poland: The January 1947 Elections
Mr. John Armstrong, an independent scholar, discussed the January 1947 Elections that changed the course of Polish history after WWII. Greed or Exasperation? The Reasons for the Latest Wave of Polish Emigration
Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, analyzed complex reasons for the massive emigration of young Poles at the beginning of the 21st century. Russian School of Cybernetics and Present Day Threats: Continuity and Development
Mr. Piotr Trąbinski, an IWP M.A. candidate, discussed the development and the recent phenomena in Russian cybernetics.
Dr. Chodakiewicz visited Poland between November 4 and November 9 in relation to a conference organized by Solidarni 2010 association and sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference entitled The Polish State and the Polonia focused on the role of Polish Diaspora in the world and their contacts with the Polish government. Dr. Chodakiewicz called for a professionalization of the relationship between emigre Poles and the Warsaw government, stressing the importance of first-hand knowledge possessed by Polonia in shaping foreign affairs.
This visit was an opportunity for scholarly activity as well. At the request of the Institute of National Remembrance [IPN], Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a debate about the massacre in Jedwabne, based upon the monograph by Dr. Chodakiewicz published in 2005, The Massacre in Jedwabne, July 10, 1941: Before, During, After. In the debate, he stressed the necessity of historical research based on facts, aimed at discovering the truth, that is the logocentric method – as opposed to conclusions based on uninformed assumptions about the realities of the past.
Another important aspect of the visit was the promotion of the Polish translation of the Intermarium – just published as Międzymorze. First, on Novemeber 4, Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a round table of experts discussing recent challenges for the historic policy of Poland and the Intermarium region. On Novemeber 7, in turn, Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a meeting with the students of Warsaw University entitled Intermarium – back to the future.
Dr. Chodakiewicz devoted time also to working with Dr. Tomasz Sommer, IWP’s non-resident research fellow, on the anti-Polish operation of the NKVD project, in particular a documentary on the topic.
Last but not least, Dr. Chodakiewicz was providing a running commentary on US presidential elections for four radio and two TV stations as well as numerous internet news outlets and platforms, including wolnosc24.pl, on the electoral night.
Project Gray is a collaborative study of the Gray Zone – the space between war and peace – where competitive interactions that fall short of a formal state of war, and which are characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty about relevant policy and legal frameworks, are undertaken by state and non-state actors.
The symposium took place on October 19-20, 2016. A joint endeavor of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the Special Operations Center of Excellence and the National Defense University, the Symposium brought scholars, research institutes, practitioners and other interested parties to discuss Russia’s role in today’s Gray Zone environment. It presented Russian engagement in the Zone, analyzing all the Russian activities that support its military effort to advance the strategic aims of this country.
Dr. Chodakiewicz was one of the participants of The Round Table Discussion on Russian Propaganda in the Media as an Element of Global Strategy and the Effectiveness of Strategic Communication. His lecture briefly characterized the nature of contemporary Russian strategic communication. Then, it analyzed its most salient features illustrated with examples.
Gray Zone Challenges require a collaborative effort between the military, the interagency, academia and research institutions to provide a flexible and agile response sufficient to meet the changing character of war. To address these conflicts, the U.S. organization as well as the intellectual and institutional models to operate successfully in the Gray Zone need to evolve. Through a series of events with academic, government and military partners, and other interested parties, Project Gray attempts to analyze regional and trans-national conflicts, find solutions and develop best practices to operate in the middle ground between war and peace. The Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies of the Institute of World Politics is proud to be a part of that important work.
At the end of October 2016, Professor Marek Chodakiewicz visited Poland to participate in a debate on strategic communication and creation of positive image of Poland abroad. Held on October 23, the debate in Krosno was a part of larger event – Festival Siedmiu Kultur [The Festival of Seven Cultures]. The aim of the festival is to promote multicultural Polish tradition, which was born when people of various ethnicities interacted and lived together in peace for centuries, first in the lands of The Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania and, later, in Poland.
The question of Polish strategic communication was discussed by renowned historians – Professor Piotr Wilczek (Warsaw University), Professor Andrzej Nowak (Jagiellonian University), and Professor Marek Chodakiewicz (Institute of World Politics, Washington USA). Professor Chodakiewicz focused on the popular image of Poland in the West. He pointed to the importance of strategic messaging and promotion of Polish culture and noble tradition, according to the best practices of the interwar period. The debate was moderated by Professor Krzysztof Koehler of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw.
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz was invited to give a lecture at the prestigious 40th Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Washington D.C. on September 25, 2016. The Workshop’s topic this year was immigration. In his lecture, Intermarium, the Land between the Black and Baltic Seas, Dr. Chodakiewicz discussed the characteristics of the migrant crisis in various parts of Europe as well as possible American response to it.
He began his analysis from the history of the Intermarium region and its crucial role for the stability of Europe and world peace. He stressed Intermarium’s Christian identity dating back to 966 A.D. as well as its unique democratic tradition. Peoples inhabiting Intermarium have developed an original form of government – an elective monarchy, in which 1 million people had the right to participate in the political process. This level of political freedom was reached by other countries of the world only in the 19th (U.S., the UK) and 20th century. This political system, known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, is responsible for the countries of Intermarium being somehow culturally different from the countries of Western Europe. Their strong republican and individualistic tradition makes them more akin to the Unites States of America.
Historical part of the lecture provided background information allowing to understand different approaches to immigration in the Western Europe and in the Intermarium region. By virtue of its cultural identity, stronger individualism and stronger beliefs, as well as a worse economic situation, the countries of Intermarium are less interesting a location for the migrants. However, the migrant crisis still results in the destabilization of the whole continent. With Russia pushing for the reintegration of what it believes to be its sphere of influence, the situation of Europe becomes more and more unpredictable. Therefore, it would be good for the United States to monitor the situation in the region and support those European allies, which are the most similar to the United States in terms of absolute values and democratic tradition.
Europe, including the Intermarium, needs America’s leadership. This concerns not only defense issues via NATO, but also the Old Continent’s immigration crisis. If the United States solves its own immigration problems, this also can serve as a paradigm for its European NATO allies about the ways to address theirs.
Commenting a NYT article on Poland, Dr. Chodakiewicz points out that the decisions of the new government in Poland are based on the same premises as those taken in America after the presidential election in 2009.
On November 21 2015, Dr. Chodakiewicz has given a lecture entitled Polish Freedom and Democratic Traditions in Anglo-Saxon Perspective for the Polish American Business Club. The event was held at the Cornell Club in New York and discussed the matters of freedom and security in the Intermarium both in the historical and the contemporary perspective.