Przegląd Politologiczny, 2017, nr 4

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    Russian smart power in Georgia
    (Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM, 2017) Markozashvili, Lasha; Dvalishvili, Tinatini
    Russia has always been active militarily; however, the current regime attempts to combine hard power with soft power tools. Russian-Georgian relations are wrought with tensions and clashes. The Western-oriented foreign policy of the latter causes worries in the Kremlin. Although the Russian federation has a strong standing in the Caucasus region, prominently due to its military presence there, the smart power policy is enacted to gain long lasting legitimacy. The mediums, such as pro-Russian non-governmental organizations, cultural intelligentsia and the Church clergy, promote the notion of a common culture and shared values. This promotion is usually accompanied by negative narratives directed towards the liberal West.
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    Demilitarization and neutralization – the case of the Åland Islands
    (Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM, 2017) Brańka, Tomasz
    Demilitarization and neutralization are among the specific restrictions that apply to the exercise of territorial sovereignty. Although frequently employed in international practice, no generally accepted definitions are available for either of these concepts. The void has given rise to a host of interpretations, which vary particularly widely in the case of demilitarization. The Åland Islands are a classic example of an area that has been both militarized and neutralized. Owing to its strategic location, it has repeatedly become the focal point of political clashes between European powers over the last two centuries. The Islands were seen as a key to pursuing Baltic Sea policies and balancing the strengths of European powers. The conflicts that swept through the region in the 19th century led to the gradual improvement of methods to demilitarize and subsequently neutralize the archipelago. Its status was ultimately settled in 1921 by an international convention and recognized after the end of World War II. The international legal status granted to the archipelago at that time has persisted to this day and continues to serve as a model of effective demilitarization and neutralization.
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    How to measure political gnosis? Empirical evidence from Putin’s Russia
    (Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM, 2017) Rak, Joanna
    The research applies a method of sources analysis that draws upon a qualitative comparative study of three speeches delivered by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during his annual news conferences. It aims to solve the problems: how was political gnosis changing in Putin’s statements over the subsequent 2014–2016 meetings? And how was Putin triggering off a performative potential of presumably non-gnostic elements of discourse to enhance political gnosis? It identifies the drift from authoritarian to totalitarian and democratic gnosis and recognizes a moderate extent of the intensity of political gnosis. The article contributes to political sociology by creating and testing the empirical effectiveness of a research tool for measuring the types and intensity of political gnosis, and distinguishing between political diagnosis and gnosis.
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    A Civic Budget as a form of civil participation, or an institutional PR tool. The Civic Budget in the City of Poznań
    (Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM, 2017) Ossowski, Szymon
    The paper discusses the Civic Budget of the City of Poznań (CBP). The analysis focuses on the nature of the CBP and the extent to which it is a participatory budget or rather a PR instrument. The hypothesis is proposed that participatory budgets in Poland are more of a PR instrument than participatory budgets in the strict sense. In order to verify this hypothesis the example of Poznań is analyzed, including the evaluation report of the CBP16. It is concluded that such civic budgets as the CBP can hardly be described as participatory budgets in the strict sense. They do not involve enough consultation, deliberation or actual co-deciding. Too few people are involved in the idea of civic budgets and a clear majority of those who do, only take part in the vote. There are only a few people involved on a long-term basis. All this makes the CBP more of a contest and plebiscite, rather than a participatory budget, which is confirmed by the comparison of the principles and practice of the CBP with the definitions of participatory budgets.
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    When rationality meets political interest. Problems of education policy rationalization in Polish municipalities
    (Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM, 2017) Kołomycew, Anna
    The paper presents the results of the research on education policy rationalization in rural and urban-rural municipalities. The author focuses on the most radical rationalization solution, namely the liquidation of schools. This solution, albeit economically feasible, can be costly in the social dimension. In the article, the author verifies the hypothesis assuming that the postulated rationalization of the municipal education policy becomes fictitious when the municipal authorities (executive body) are motivated by their own interest, i.e. maintaining public support (a victory in subsequent elections) rather than economic rationality and public good. The problem of rationalizing school networks in the municipalities has been analyzed by the author on the grounds of the rational choice theory. The article was based on the literature review, quantitative data and empirical research carried out in selected municipalities in the form of semistructured interviews. The comparative method, elements of system analysis and qualitative methods were used in the research. In a two-stage process, the researcher has chosen the municipalities located in three provinces (Świętokrzyskie, Mazowieckie and Pomorskie), and then 60 respondents from among the following groups: municipal authorities (an executive body and representatives of a legislative body), teachers, school governing non-state entities, representatives of local communities and local leaders.