Cover Osteuropa 3-5/2018

In Osteuropa 3-5/2018

The uncharismatic charismatic individual
Jarosław Kaczyński and the secret of power

Gerhard Gnauck

Deutsche Fassung


Jarosław Kaczyński is the strong man in Poland who determines policy direction. Yet Kaczyński is neither president nor prime minister, and has attained power through his party. What is the basis for his authority? Kaczyński is no brilliant speaker and no impressive personality, and yet his rule is based on charisma. His supporters follow him because they value his exceptional toughness, his moral integrity and his firm-ness. Kaczyński wants radical change, and his national conservative ideas are designed to achieve cultural hegemony. He regards himself as the commander of a besieged fortress, who protects the weak and is not afraid of the strong.

(Osteuropa 3-5/2018, pp. 171–185)