Divided by the Rainbow: Culture War and Diffusion of Paleoconservative Values in Contemporary Poland

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Over the last decade, representations of the rainbow were repeatedly disputed in Poland, revealing the country’s ongoing socio-political changes and its drift away from the generally liberal and secular values of the European mainstream. These cases show a political growth and an increasing social diffusion of Polish ‘national paleoconservatism.’ The aim of this article is to (1) discuss the intellectual roots of this distinct form of conservatism built upon the confrontational notions of national identity, patriotism, and Catholicism; (2) propose a novel concept in the studies of Polish politics (‘national paleoconservatism’); and (3) present the social diffusion of such conservatism based on conflicts over representations of the rainbow. By combining the historical and intellectual background with the contemporary case studies, the authors aim to facilitate a deeper understanding of the vitality of national conservative ideas among internationally unknown conservative intellectuals, who participate in a discursive ‘culture war’ against their liberal, progressive and secular opponents in present-day Poland. The ideological conflicts revolve around the meaning of Polish national identity, the essential character of the country’s culture, and the position of Poland within the framework of European integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number170
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 5

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies

Free keywords

  • Poland
  • culture war
  • rainbow
  • LGBTQ+
  • conservatism
  • paleoconservatism
  • Law and Justice
  • Roman Catholicism
  • public sphere


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