Towards illiberal conditioning? New politics of media regulations in Poland (2015–2018)

Paweł Surowiec, Magdalena Kania-Lundholm, Małgorzta Brodowska-Winiarska
2019 East European Politics  
In this article, we examine how media policy changes aid dedemocratisation in Poland. Unfolding the logic underpinning the new politics of media regulations, this article argues that media policy paints a nuanced picture of democratic backsliding. Our Foucault-inspired discourse analysis of media policy archive focuses on the rise of illiberal trends at the cross-roads of the Polish hybrid media system, democracy and society. We find these trends display the features of centralisation of power,
more » ... cultural politics, political partisanship and social polarisations. We explain these notions, using the concepts of "executive aggrandisement" and "politicisation" of public service media sector. ARTICLE HISTORY Given that illiberal trends have emerged in Europe in various settings in Hungary, Russia and the United Kingdom, it is safe to assume that illiberalism is a trend transcending different types of political regimes and institutions. The political powers turning and twisting this trend are complex and, in Poland, one of its early manifestations unfolded at the crossroads of politics, media policy and public service media, springing concerns about democratic governance. The early voices pointing to the treats associated with illiberal trends did not, however, emerge in media studies. Political science foregrounded them a while ago. For example, Puchalska (2005, 816) argues that "authoritarian, exclusive and undemocratic style of politics of the first years of reforms, squandered social trust and undermined the 28 P. SUROWIEC ET AL.
doi:10.1080/21599165.2019.1608826 fatcat:fqxiysfx6jgx5pmf65mhgtjndm