Walecki, Marcin

Head of Democratization Department

OSCE/ODIHR, Poland

Poland

Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2006/2007

Ph.D. Institution

University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Biography

I have a D.Phil. from St Antony’s College, Oxford University (granted in 2003 - thesis title “Money and Politics in Poland: A New Democracy in Comparative Perspective”), and an MA in Law and Administration (Honours) from the University of Warsaw. I have been awarded the University of Oxford ORS Awards Scheme and the British Council Joseph Conrad Scholarship. Until September 2005 I was a Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College.
My interest in the comparative analysis of political systems, political parties, elections, and democratic transition has grown out of my experience of working with international organizations, academics, politicians and civil society activists in over 15 transition democracies.
Since 2002 I have been a Senior Advisor for IFES[1], one of the world's premier democracy and governance assistance organizations, and I have conducted research, and organized dozens of study trips and seminars, in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, and the Ukraine.
Over the past five years, I have published and edited 5 books, contributed to 8 other publications and presented papers at many major international conferences. Three years ago I was elected to the Board of IPSA Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption. In the academic year 2002, I was a guest lecturer at the University of Oldenburg, teaching a class and running a seminar on democratic transition in post-Communist countries. I successfully transferred the Oxford-based course on “Theory and Practice of Democratization” into the curriculum of the Oldenburg University.
My recent book, Money and Politics (Warsaw: ISP, 2005), examines the trends in political finance over the democratisation period of 1989 to 2001 in Poland. My two edited books, Financing politics. Elections, money, political parties (Warsaw: Parliamentary Press 2000), provided an introduction to political finance, and it argues that problems related to money in politics are at the heart of the debate on, and the substance of, democratisation in post-Communist states. They were the first comparative volumes dealing with different transition regimes (Poland, Ukraine, and the Commonwealth countries) and established democracies (Austria and Germany). I have contributed, as a lead writer, to the Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004.  This is one of the most important publications on political corruption to date. I have also contributed to the International IDEA Handbook on Funding of Political Parties (2003) and K. H. Nassmacher’s comparative volume Foundations for Democracy (2001). Both publicationsaim to increase knowledge of the law and practice of political finance around the world.
I have recently publish two new studies dealing with new aspects of comparative political science such as elections and political parties in post-conflict countries, and the effectiveness of political finance disclosure.  My next goal is a comprehensive research project on the abuses of state resources for political purposes in transition regimes. I am planning to work on the transformation of regulatory methods dealing with political corruption, and the development of instruments to increase transparency and accountability in funding of political parties (including also European parties).
I am fluent in 3 Slavic languages (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian), as well as English.


[1] IFES, as a think tank, provides targeted technical assistance to strengthen transitional democracies and reform their political systems. Founded in 1987, IFES has developed and implemented comprehensive, collaborative democracy solutions in more than 100 countries. See www.ifes.org.
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