Elusive Enthusiasm: Parliamentary Democracy in the Newly Founded European Nation-States After the First World War—The Case of Poland
Zloch offers new insights into the history of European parliamentarism in the interwar period, providing a case study on independent Poland. The chapter highlights that enthusiasm for parliamentary democracy rested upon a variety of ideas as to what a parliament should look like and how it should function—in some ways in competition with one another and capable of being applied to different political contexts. Three of these ideas are analysed in detail: the parliament as a national symbol, as a mirror of society, and as a site of political decision-making. ‘Elusive Enthusiasm’ concludes with a discussion of the challenge to the parliamentary system in Poland inflicted by the Piłsudski coup d’état in 1926 and the authoritarian political culture of the 1930s.