Since its inception, the Foundation's core activity has been to promote contemporary Poland worldwide as a dynamic and modern country. The Foundation’s goal is to change the common perception of Poland, often seen only through the prism of its difficult history,into a serious player in the European economy, culture and politics. This conception includes shaping dialogue around the world on Poland through the most prestigious universities where future leaders, global decision-makers and specialists in the areas of economics and international relations can acquire knowledge about our country and, above all, build successful relationship with it.
The Foundation’s flagship initiative, the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University, established in 2012, is an unprecedented model for fostering friendships with contemporary Poland by advancing a series of events targeting international audiences in 2013-2016. These events cover a wide range of issues from statehood, foreign policy, culture, through contemporary security challenges facing the European Union and its neighbourhood as well as dialogue. These initiatives attract students, scholars and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
For more information on initiatives at Oxford, visit:
or read: PROF. ZBIGNIEW PEŁCZYŃSKI’s MEMORANDUM
The next centre after POMP at the University of Oxford, in which the Foundation funded, is Cambridge Polish Studies. Established independently in 2014, Cambridge Polish Studies, touch on Polish history and politics, while putting more emphasis on Poland’s cultural perspective , as well as Polish literature and language. 30 June 2015, the first international conference was organised by Cambridge Polish Studies, which launches a series of events dedicated to the important challenges facing Poland. The conference covered Polish-Ukrainian relations and their future from the perspective of the present situation in the region. The Foundation was committed to the event financially and arranged a trip for Polish journalists who prepared a report of the event.
After three years of managing the Oxford project, the next step for the Oxford Noble Foundation is to develop similar programmes in other leading UK universities in the United Kingdom. For this purpose, in the spring of 2016, the Programme on Modern Poland entered a new phase – the launch of a grant competition addressed to a wide number of universities to support the best initiatives aimed at promoting Poland among international opinion leaders.
Among its numerous activities, the Foundation also plays an important fundraising role and is heavily involved in engaging the business community in supporting the promotion of Polish academic centres worldwide. Anyone interested in supporting the Programme is invited to join.
The following have agreed to as act as Honorary Patrons of the Foundation:
- The late Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki: the first post-communist Prime Minister of Poland following the 4 June 1989 elections, the father of the success of the Polish transformation and a symbolic figure for contemporary Poland
- Professor Zbigniew Pełczyński: one of the most accomplished Poles at Oxford and a social activist. Prof Pełczyński was instrumental in making it possible for approximately 1,300 people to attend Oxford University over the last 15 years.
Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University
On 24 October 2012 in Warsaw, an understanding was signed inaugurating the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University. It is the first initiative of its kind implemented abroad – an interdisciplinary study programme of this scale devoted to Poland and its post-1989 transformation. The Oxford Programme is a response to the challenge of building Poland’s strong position in international relations. It is to become a forge for ambassadors and friends of modern Poland, a place where students of this most prestigious European university, the future leaders and decision- makers of the world, will learn about Poland’s regional leadership and dynamic economy. The Programme operates within St Antony’s College. Program founders from Oxford include acclaimed academics, including Prof Timothy Garton Ash and Prof Norman Davies, while on the Polish side, they include Dr Leszek Czarnecki, one of the wealthiest Poles who, along with his Noble Bank, donated the funds to establish the Programme. The late Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Prof Zbigniew Pełczyński are Honorary Programme Patrons.
More information on the Programme is available on:http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/research-centres/programme-modern-poland
Idea of the Programme – why it is important for Poland
The Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University is a breakthrough in terms of building Poland’s position on the international arena. Currently, a country’s image is largely responsible for its international position – its economic or political success. The Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University is a response to this challenge. The Studies will be the future forge of ambassadors of modern Poland, a place where the future leaders and decision-makers of the entire world, specialists in areas of economics or international relations, will be able to learn about Poland and, most importantly, build relationships with the country. They will learn about Poland as a dynamic regional leader, rather than merely about its difficult history as has been hitherto the case.
"Today, Poland finds itself at an exceptional moment. We can be proud of how much we have achieved. We are a strong player in Europe, we have a dynamically growing economy, and we have handled the crisis better than others. We have caught up to the pack and have the potential and energy to reach higher. This is precisely the Poland that is worth showing off to the world. I believe that the private sector has a serious obligation toward Poland, where, as a result of the transformation, we have had an opportunity to build our businesses. That is why I am honoured today to be able, along with Poland’s biggest authorities and great friends of Poland at Oxford, to inaugurate this exceptional project,”
said Dr Leszek Czarnecki, founder and owner of Noble Bank, which funded the creation of the Programme, at the inauguration in 2012.
The most respected representatives of academia and great authorities of Poland’s 20 years of freedom have been involved in establishing the Programme; they include Prof Timothy Garton Ash, Prof Norman Davies and Prof Margaret MacMillan, Warden of St Antony’s College. The late Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a symbolic figure in the success of Poland’s transformation, and Prof Zbigniew Pełczyński, an acclaimed Polish Professor at Oxford University, who has for many years supported Poles studying at the University, have assumed Honorary Patronage of the Programme.
Oxford University has been interested in Poland for decades. Currently, our guests and students from around the world want to know even more about Poland. The Programme on Modern Poland provides them an opportunity to attain a new level of quality in studying the country that is with increasing frequency perceived as a power within the European Union in political, economic, dynamic development, and foreign-policy terms. The Programme is an opportunity to create a new familiarity about Poland among elites and intelligentsia in Europe and around the world.
Prof. Timothy Garton Ash
The Programme on Modern Poland involves:
- The first ever, comprehensive study program of this scale about modern Poland conducted outside the country
- A curriculum with focus on modern Poland, i.e. changes occurring in the 1980s, the success and assumptions of the transformation post-1989, as well as today’s economic, social and political system. For the first time, Poland will be shown mainly through the prism of its success of 20 years of freedom, as a strong regional leader and an important economic and political partner, rather than merely through its difficulty history.
- Interdisciplinary Studies not Polish Studies – The Programme a wide range topic in the social sciences and humanities disciplines including the politics, economics, sociology, history, cultural aspects as well as analyses of regional relationships. At the conceptual level, the Programme was consulted with, inter alia, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
St Antony’s College, where the Programme on Modern Poland will be established, is the leading masters and doctoral studies centre at the University of Oxford specialising in international relations. Its faculty includes leading academics such as Prof Timothy Garton Ash, Prof Jan Zielonka and Prof Norman Davies. St Antony’s College is currently considered among the best of esteemed institutions on the international arena for its extensive expertise in Polish studies. As a result of a significant donation, it will be able to leverage that expertise to an even higher level.
Programme activities – how it will impact its environment
First of all, the Programme should not be considered as a traditional study program or in the narrow understanding of the term. It is more than just a “major” or lecture series addressed to a narrow group of students. It is a research centre of a profile approaching that of a think tank. The goal of the Programme on Modern Poland is to become the world’s leading academic and information centre about modern Poland and its development. Its greatest strength will be its impact, one that far exceeds the walls of a single university as the Programme is to influence the way of teaching, thinking and discussing Poland at Oxford, other universities and, ultimately, at intellectual and political centres in the world.
The Programme operates according to such tenets as scientific and research events, publications and contacts with other centres that influence dissemination of knowledge about Poland.
Following the first stage, which is the establishment of the Programme, future plans include the expansion of activities to other leading universities, overseeing masters and doctoral theses related to Polish issues. Over time, these activities will enable the Programme to improve the profile of Polish Studies at Oxford and beyond.
Programme on Modern Poland
The Programme on Modern Poland in the United Kingdom established in 2012 by the Noble Foundation is aiming at promoting knowledge on post-1989 Poland, including teaching and research at top universities. The Programme also tries to build bridges between British and Polish academic institutions.
Call for Applications 2017
We are pleased to announce our second call for applications for funding for UK based academic institutions. Applications are invited for a wide range of projects in the field of modern history, international relations, sociology, anthropology, politics, economics and finance, management and governance, media and communication. Projects can assume a variety of forms such as:
- network building between Polish and British institutions
- summer schools for young leaders
- primary research and publications
- organizing conferences
- setting up new programmes and courses
- generating on-line information
- developing new media platforms, etc.
Proposals for the development of Polish studies in Great Britain are particularly welcome.
Duration of eligible projects is between 3 months and 2 years with a maximum budget of £50,000 for a single project.
Deadline for applications is 1 May 2017, noon (UK time).
For further information contact: Patrick.Kimunguyi@noblefoundation.pl
The goal of the Foundation is the promotion of a positive image of contemporary Poland abroad, in particular among future elites and opinion-makers studying and carrying out academic work at Oxford University and eventually at other institutions as well.
The task of the Foundation is to encourage intellectual and business circles to support the development of the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University, including by also raising additional funds that will allow for the expansion of the scope of the Programme.
The Foundation will also be responsible for on-going cooperation with St Antony’s College in terms of promoting and carrying out elements of the Programme, including events, conference, and publications in Poland that are related to the Programme.
The Foundation will pursue its goals through non-profit activities that are in line with its charter, such as:
- Organizing and supporting initiatives related to the Programme, e.g., academic events, scholarships, publications;
- Raising awareness about the Programme on Modern Poland within Poland;
- Organizing free-of-charge conferences, seminars, workshops, and other events serving to meet the goals of the Foundation and the Programme;
- Organizing competitions and handing out awards;
- Organizing media campaigns (promotional campaigns, social activities);
- Supporting and organizing academic, artistic, and publishing ventures that serve to meet the Foundation's goals;
- Working with other foundations and organizations with similar goals;
Working with Polish and foreign non-governmental organizations and institutions with goals similar to those of the Foundation.
The goal of the Foundation is the promotion of a positive image of contemporary Poland abroad, in particular among future elites and opinion-makers studying and carrying out academic work at Oxford University and eventually at other institutions as well.
Zadaniem Fundacji będzie angażowanie środowisk intelektualnych oraz biznesowych we wsparcie rozwoju Programu Studiów o Współczesnej Polsce na Uniwersytecie Oxfordzkim, w tym także – pozyskiwanie dodatkowych donacji, które pozwolą na rozwinięcie skali Programu.
Fundacja będzie również odpowiedzialna za bieżącą współpracę z St. Antony’s College w ramach promocji i realizacji elementów Programu – w tym związanych z nim wydarzeń, konferencji oraz publikacji w Polsce.
Fundacja realizuje swoje cele poprzez prowadzenie niedochodowej działalności statutowej, to jest:
- Organizowanie i wsparcie inicjatyw towarzyszących Programowi tj. wydarzeń naukowych, stypendiów, publikacji
- Propagowanie wiedzy o Programie Studiów o Współczesnej Polsce w kraju;
- Organizowanie nieodpłatnych: konferencji, seminariów, warsztatów i innych wydarzeń służących realizacji celów Fundacji i Programu;
- Organizowanie konkursów i przyznawanie nagród;
- Organizowanie akcji medialnych (kampanii promocyjnych, akcji społecznych);
- Wspomaganie i organizowanie przedsięwzięć naukowych, artystycznych i wydawniczych służących realizacji celów Fundacji;
- Współpracę z innymi fundacjami i organizacjami zajmującymi się podobnymi celami;
- Współpracę z polskimi i zagranicznymi organizacjami pozarządowymi i instytucjami o podobnych do Fundacji celach.
Council Chair of St. Antony's College Oxford Noble Foundation
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Mr. Leszek Czarnecki graduated from the Wrocław University of Technology, he also holds a PhD in economics at the Wrocław University of Economics. He started his business in 1986 by establishing Przedsiębiorstwo Hydrotechniki i Inżynierii TAN S.A.
He was the founder and main shareholder of Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy S.A., established in 1991 - the first and the biggest leasing company in Poland. In 1998 Leszek Czarnecki was awarded "The best CEO in Central Europe" prize as one of the 10 top managers in Central Europe by "The Wall Street Journal". Also in 1998, he won the world finals of "Young Business Achiever" contest in Beijing.
In April 2004, the Financial Times newspaper listed Leszek Czarnecki as one of the 25 rising stars in European business, who will set trends for the development of the financial markets in the coming years. Leszek Czarnecki was the only Pole on this prestigious “FT” list. In November 2004, Leszek Czarnecki was among four people to receive the honourable title of “Entrepreneur of the Year from Eastern Europe", awarded by INSEAD - one of the best business universities in Europe and by the French Minister of Finance.
In September 2005, Leszek Czarnecki obtained the reputable Lesław A. Paga reward for his achievements and personal contribution to the development of the financial services’ market in Poland. He was voted the “Player of the Year” in a rating organised by the Polish edition of “Forbes" magazine in 2005,2006 and 2007.
Council Member of St. Antony's College Oxford Noble Foundation
Vice President, acting as President of the Management Board Getin Noble Bank S.A.
He has a degree from the Faculty of Finance & Statistics, Warsaw School of Economics (1995).
He also has a post-graduate diploma in Commercial Bank Management (1996) and a post-graduate diploma in Management from Warsaw School of Economics. In 2001 he earned a doctor’s degree in economics, with specialisation in management.
- Jan. 2010 - Getin Noble Bank, President of the Management Board
- Nov.2009 - Noble Bank, Member of the Management Board
- Sept. 2007 – GetinHolding S.A., Deputy Chairman of the Management Board; since Jan. 2007, Chairman of the Management Board
- Jan. 2007 - TUnZ EUROPA S.A. Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
- Oct. 2007 - TU EUROPA S.A. Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
- Apr. 2005 – Sept. 2006 PZU Życie, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
- Dec. 2003 – Apr. 2005 – PZU Życie S.A., Banking Insurance Office Director
- March 2003 – Nov. 2003 CitiInsurancena Polska TU na Życie S.A., Deputy of the Management Board,
- Sept. 2001 – July 2003 Bank Handlowy, CitiInsurance Project Development Director
- Sept. 1998 PKO/Handlowy Powszechne Towarzystwo Emerytalne S.A., Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
- July 1994 – July 1998 Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
Apr. 1994 – June 1994 Merinosoft Sp. z o.o.
Council Member of St. Antony's College Oxford Noble Foundation
Since 2000, the President of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, which was established to support the development of civil society, democracy and the market economy in Poland and the sharing of experiences in the field with other transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
In the years 1994-2000 he was the ambassador of Poland in Washington, the central theme of his mission were treatment related to Poland's accession to NATO and the development of allied relations between the Polish and the U.S.
Prior to his diplomatic post in the U.S. participate in efforts to rebuild the state and the economy. Since 1989, first as CEO and later Secretary of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, was the closest collaborator of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz, for two years, coordinated the work of the staff of the program's stability and transformation of the Polish economy. In 1992-1993, as Secretary of State in the Prime Minister URM and colleague Hanna Suchocka, organized and analytical and advisory teams for the head of government. In 1993-1994 he served as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dealing with such preparation of the modernization of the Polish foreign service.
The public service - working for reform, the activities of political divisions, and efforts related to Poland's accession to NATO membership - in 1998 he won the Prize. Andrew Bączkowski. In 2000 he received the President's Commander's Cross with Star of "Polonia Restituta". He was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas for supporting the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Lithuania (Vilnius, 2002), as well as the Secretary of Defense Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service (Washington, 2000). In 2011 he won the Prize. Jan Nowak-Jezioranski. He also received the Kosciuszko Foundation Medal for his contribution to the development of Polish-American relations.
In 2004, he was chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Polish European Economic Summit, meeting in Warsaw on the eve of EU enlargement. Since 2010 - Vice-Chairman of the Polish Institute of International Affairs.
Trained as an economist - a graduate of the Warsaw School of Foreign Trade (SGH). His wife Irene, founder and president of the foundation, "ABC XXI", leading campaigns including "All of Poland Reads to Kids".
Council Member of St. Antony's College Oxford Noble Foundation
Professor of economics, working mainly on the economics of transition and the European integration. Founder of NOBE (Independent Centre for Economic Studies), one of Poland’s leading economic think-tanks, and the Dean of the Business School of the Warsaw University of Technology. Chief economic advisor to PricewaterhouseCoopers Polska. Member of the Economic Council of the Prime Minister, deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum in Warsaw, Special Advisor to the European Commission. Former economic advisor to the president Aleksander Kwaśniewski and member of the National Development Council of the president Lech Kaczyński.
Studied at the University of Lodz and the Harvard University. In the period 1993-1997 at the World Bank. From 2001 until 2005 the chief economic advisor to the president. In the past also advisor to the Chief Negotiator of the EU membership of Poland, member of the Macroeconomic Council of the Minister of Finance, consultant to many international and national bodies and organizations. Author of 9 books and 190 scientific publications, popular economic commentator and columnist of major Polish newspapers.
Rektor St Antony’s College na Uniwersytecie Oxfordzkim od lipca 2007 r. Przed przyjęciem stanowiska rektora profesor MacMillan była dyrektorem administracyjnym Trinity College i profesorem historii na Uniwersytecie w Toronto. Edukację odbyła na Uniwersytecie w Toronto (tytuł Bachelor of Arts z wyróżnieniem z historii) oraz w College St Hilda i St Antony’s College (Bachelor of Philosophy z nauk politycznych i Doctor of Philosophy). Od 1975 r. do 2002 r. była członkiem wydziału historii na Ryerson University w Toronto i sprawowała również funkcję przewodniczącej wydziału. Jest członkiem Royal Society of Literature i senior fellow w Massey College na Uniwersytecie w Toronto, a także członkiem Rady Nagród Queen’s Anniversary Trust, rad Mosaic Institute i Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, a także kolegiów redakcyjnych International History oraz First World War Studies. Zasiada również w radzie doradczej Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (Instytut Sprawiedliwości Historycznej i Pojednania), a także jest członkinią rady naukowej w Rhodes Trust.
Posiada doktoraty honoris causa Uniwersytetu College King's, Royal Military College i Ryerson University w Toronto. W 2006 r. profesor MacMillan została mianowana oficerem Orderu Kanady.
Profesor MacMillan jest od wielu lat związana z St Antony’s College. Była studentką College’u na początku lat 70. XX w., kiedy to napisała pracę doktorską na temat Brytyjczyków w Indiach. Wróciła jako senior associate member w 1993 r. i została wybrana na honorary fellowship w 2003 r.
Publikacje profesor MacMillan obejmują Women of the Raj (Kobiety Raj), a także Peacemakers: the Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to Make Peace (Rozjemcy: Konferencja paryska z 1919 r. i jego próba stworzenia pokoju). Ta ostatnia pozycja ukazała się w USA pod tytułem Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (Paryż 1919: sześć miesięcy, które zmieniły świat) i zdobyła Nagrodę Duff Cooper, Samuel Johnson Prize dla literatury faktu, Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, Srebrny Medal Council on Foreign Relations, Arthur Ross Book Award i nagrodę gubernatora generalnego dla literatury faktu w 2003 r. Redakcja New York Times przyznała jej też tytuł Editor’s Choice w 2002 r. Następnie napisała Canada’s House: Rideau Hall and the Invention of a Canadian Home (Dom Kanady: Rideau Hall i wynalazienie kanadyjskiego domu), wspólnie z Marjorie Harris i Anne L. Desjardins; Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World (Nixon w Chinach: Tydzień, który zmienił świat), zatytułowaną w USA Nixon and Mao (Nixon i Mao), która została nominowana w styczniu 2007 r. do Gelber Prize, nagrody przyznawanej corocznie najlepszej książce o stosunkach międzynarodowych opublikowanej w języku angielskim. Jej ostatnia książka to The Uses and Abuses of History (Wykorzystywanie i nadużywanie historii), która w USA ukazała się pod tytułem Dangerous Games (Niebezpieczne Gry). Często komentuje w mediach tematy historyczne i sprawy bieżące.
Timothy Garton Ash is the author of nine books of political writing or ‘history of the present’ which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last thirty years. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and he writes a weekly column in the Guardian which is widely syndicated in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
His books are: ‘Und willst Du nicht mein Bruder sein …’ Die DDR heute (1981), a book published in West Germany about what was then still East Germany; The Polish Revolution: Solidarity (1983), which won the Somerset Maugham Award; The Uses of Adversity: Essays on the Fate of Central Europe (1989), for which he was awarded the Prix Européen de l’Essai; We the People: The Revolution of ’89 witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (1990; US Edition: The Magic Lantern), which was translated into fifteen languages; In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993), named Political Book of the Year in Germany; The File: A Personal History (1997), which has so far appeared in sixteen languages; History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Despatches from Europe in the 1990s (2000); Free World (2004); and, most recently, Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name.
After reading Modern History at Oxford, his research into the German resistance to Hitler took him to Berlin, where he lived, in both the western and eastern halves of the divided city, for several years. From there, he started to travel widely behind the iron curtain. Throughout the nineteen eighties, he reported and analysed the emancipation of Central Europe from communism in contributions to the New York Review of Books, the Independent, the Times and the Spectator. He was Foreign Editor of the Spectator, editorial writer on Central European affairs for the London Times, and a columnist on foreign affairs in the Independent.
In 1986-87 he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. Since 1990, he has been a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, where he directed the European Studies Centre from 2001 to 2006 and is now Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow. He became a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, in 2000. A frequent lecturer, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts and a Corresponding Fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.
He continues to travel extensively, and remains a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and other journals. His weekly column in the Guardian is syndicated in leading newspapers across Europe, Asia and the Americas. He also contributes to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
Honours he has received for his writing include the David Watt Memorial Prize, Commentator of the Year in the ‘What the Papers Say’ annual awards for 1989, the Premio Napoli, the Imre Nagy Memorial Plaque, the Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize for political writing, the Order of Merit from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, and the British CMG. In 2005, he featured in a list of 100 top global public intellectuals chosen by the journals Prospect and Foreign Policy, and in Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people. In 2006, he was awarded the George Orwell Prize for political writing.
Norman Davies, born in 1939 in Bolton (Lancashire) was educated at Bolton School, Magdalen College, Oxford, the University of Sussex and at several continental universities including Grenoble, Perugia and Kraków. His formative years created a lifelong European outlook.
His special interest in Central and Eastern Europe was unusual among contemporaries. It started in 1958 when four school-leavers drove from Lancashire to Istanbul and back in an ex-US Army Jeep. It was consolidated by further adventurous travels: by intensive Russian courses and by post-doctoral study at the Jagiellonian University, where he obtained a Ph.D.
Unlike most academics, Norman Davies began his career as a school teacher. During a four-year spell, he worked at every level from primary to Sixth Form, at a girls' school and then at St. Paul's. These experiences honed his skills as a lecturer and educator, and primed the arts of simple narrative and clear analysis.
As a pupil of AJP Taylor and the nephew of a well-known Lancastrian sportsman and broadcaster, Davies was always familiar with the worlds of publishing and the media. He emerged as a historical author with White Eagle, Red Star (1972) which was written during a research fellowship at St. Antony's College. he found his way into radio and later TV via the BBC World Service to which he made contributions relative to current affairs in the Soviet Block.
Davies' academic career centred on the School of Slavonic Studies, University of London, where he was successively Lecturer, Reader and Professor. A quarter of a century in London was supplemented by regular assignments abroad at Columbia, Mc Gill, Hokkaido, Stanford, Harvard, Adelaide and the ANU in Canberra. He was elected Fell of the British Academy in 1997.
The stay at Stanford was particularly eventful. It started with the prospective offer of an endowed chair and ended when the offer was mysteriously cancelled before it could be formalised by Board of Trustees. Stanford's decision, which contradicted the unanimous recommendation of it's own Search Committee, remained unsubstantiated for months, and since all grievance procedures were refused, became the subject of a lengthy but inconclusive law suit. It eventually emerged that an unnamed group of critics had taken offense at one chapter in Davies' prize-winning history of Poland, God's Playground (1981). Davies remembers the episode stoically - as evidence of academic small-mindedness and of fate awaiting anyone who confronts entrenched opinions and prejudices.
Nonetheless, the budding author surged ahead. After the collapse of Communism, God's Playground was adopted by Poland's Ministry of Education as compulsory reading for all history students in state schools and universities. Europe: A History (OUP, 1996) became a Number 1 best-seller in Britain and The Isles: A History (1999) confirmed Davies' reputation as an iconoclast. Microcosm (2000) written with Roger Moorhouse, presents the little known history of a Central European city, Wroclaw / Beslau; whilst Rising '44 (2003) has eclipsed all previous studies of the Warsaw Rising. According to the the author, Europe At War is bound to encounter turbulence.
Over the years, Norman Davies has received many honours. He was awarded the CMG in 2001 for 'services to history', and has collected several Polish distinctions including the Order of Merit. He is an honorary citizen of several cities, including Wroclaw: and the holder of numerous honorary degrees, most recently a D. Litt from Sussex.
Though formally retired from his academic post in 1996, Norman Davies continues to write and publish. He lives in Oxford and Cracow with his wife Maria, and has two sons. From 2000 - 2006 he was a Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford: and is now a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.and an Honorary Fellow at St Antony's College.
Born on 18th of April 1927 in Płock. Died on 23rd of October 2013 in Warsaw.
After the end of the Second World War, he began studies at the law department of the University of Warsaw. In 1950 he began to take part in public works: he presided over Akademicka Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza (a publishing cooperative), from which he was soon expelled for “clericalism”. Later on, he joined a group connected with the “Dziś i jutro” weekly magazine (later known as PAX). As a sign of protest against the instrumental treatment of the Church and servility towards the communists, Mazowiecki left the group in 1955. He wrote for “Po Prostu” and “Tygodnik Powszechny”. In October 1956, he became a co-founder of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club; two years later he established the “Więź” monthly magazine, where he held the position of editor in chief until 1980.
In the years 1961-1971 Tadeusz Mazowiecki was a Member of Parliament, where he was chosen to represent catholic oppositional societies. Together with Stefan Kisielewski, Konstanty Łubieński, Stanisław Stomma and Jerzy Zawieyski he established in the Sejm (Lower House of Polish Parliament) a party known as “Znak”. In March 1968 he drew up an interpellation of “Znak” as a sign of protest against political pogroms and the beating of students by police officers. In 1971 he proposed calling a Sejm commission to investigate what happened by the Coast; this initiative was rejected by the Polish United Worker’s Party (Polish: PZPR). In 1975 he co-organized a protest against adding the words “przewodnia rola PZPR” (“the PZPR party as the leading force”) to the Constitution. He took part in the democratic opposition and was one of the founders of educational courses known as a “flying university”.
In August 1980 he initiated the letter of intellectuals who supported the workers on strike by the Coast. He organized and was a leader of the commission of experts working with the Interfactory Strike Committee at the Gdańsk Shipyard. After establishing “Tygodnik Solidarność”, he became its editor in chief. When the martial law was announced in Poland, Mazowiecki was interned from December 13th, 1981 until December 23rd, 1982. He was an editor of the Solidarity report: “Polska w pięć lat po sierpniu” (“Poland: five years after the events of August”).
He created an underground publication called “21”. He was an advisor to both Lech Wałęsa and the trade union. He organized the Citizens’ Committee, and in May and August 1988, Mazowiecki took part in the Gdańsk Shipyard strike.
In 1989 he took part in organizing the Polish Round Table Talks. He was a leader of the trade union pluralism workgroup, and took part in the meetings of the political reform workgroup and mass media subworkgroup. He coordinated the work of the oppositional workgroups responsible for negotiations. Once again he became the editor in chief of the reactivated "Tygodnik Solidarność”.
On the 24th of August 1989, the Sejm appointed Tadeusz Mazowiecki as Prime Minister of Poland. On the 12th of September the Sejm was in favour of the program and composition of the government proposed by Tadeusz Mazowiecki. In the presidential elections of November 1990, he was a candidate of the Citizens' Movement for Democratic Action (Polish: Ruch Obywatelski Akcja Demokratyczna – ROAD) and Forum of the Democratic Right (Polish: Forum Prawicy Demokratycznej – FPD). He lost the elections in the first round with 18% of the votes, which gave him third place. He was convinced that with decreasing social support and after many attacks directed at him, he could not remain as Prime Minister. Tadeusz Mazowiecki handed in his cabinet’s resignation.
On the 2nd of December 1990, during a meeting of the representatives of Voivodeship Election Committees, Tadeusz Mazowiecki proposed establishing of the Democratic Union (Polish: Unia Demokratyczna). He was chosen as president of the party. In May 1991, during the Joint Convention, Democratic Union, ROAD and FPD were fused to create one political party – the Democratic Union. The Convention chose Tadeusz Mazowiecki as the president of the union. In April 1994, during the Joint Congress of the Democratic Union and Liberal-Democratic Congress, Tadeusz Mazowiecki became president of the newly established political party – Freedom Union (Polish: Unia Wolności). He held this office until May 1995.
In the Sejm during the 1st term of service, he was a Member of Parliament from the Poznań region (elections in October 1991). Member of the parliamentary National Defence Committee, Select Committee responsible for considering the project for the Bill of Rights and Freedoms (Polish: Karta Praw i Wolności), and Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly. He was also a president of the special commission responsible for considering the project of the constitutional act concerning mutual relations between the executive branch and the legislature (the so called “Little Constitution”).
In August 1992, Tadeusz Mazowiecki was elected for the office of Special Emissary of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He was responsible for ensuring that human rights in former Yugoslavia were not being violated. In July 1995, after the fall of Srebrenica – another safety area in Bosnia, Tadeusz Mazowiecki resigned from the office as he “could no longer take part in what was only a theoretical process of protecting human rights.”
In the Sejm during the 2nd term of service, he was a Member of Parliament from the Poznań region (elections on the 19th of September 1993). Member of the parliamentary National Defence Committee, Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly, and Select Committee responsible for considering the bills on the amendment to the constitutional act concerning the procedure for preparing and enacting the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.
In the Sejm during the 3rd term of service, he was a Member of Parliament from the Cracow region (elections in September 1997). In the Sejm he was a president of the European Integration Commission. He also took part in the works of the Foreign Affairs Commission. Mazowiecki presided over the delegation of the Sejm and the Senate to the EU-Poland Joint Parliamentary Committee, and he was also co-president of this commission.
In the years 2003-2009 Tadeusz Mazowiecki was a member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for the benefit of victims of crimes which are subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki received honorary doctoral degrees from such universities as: Leuven, Genoa, Giessen, Poitiers, Exeter, Warsaw, University of Economics in Katowice and Tuzla. He was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle (1995), Golden Order of Bosnia (1996), National Order of the Legion of Honour (1997), and Commander's Cross with the Star of the Order Of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (1998). He is the author of many articles, essays and books: “Rozdroża i wartości” (“Cross-roads and Values”), “Powrót do najprostszych pytań” (“Return to the Simplest of Questions”), “Internowanie” (“Internment”), and “Druga twarz Europy” (“The Second Face of Europe”). He is also a co-author of “Chrześcijanie wobec praw człowieka” (“Christians and the Human Rights”) and “Ludzie Lasek” (“People of Laski”). He is the winner of many national and international prizes, such as the Andrzej Strug Literary Prize (1980) and a prize for Special Contributions to Developing Polish-German Relations in the year 1993.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki had three sons, seven grandchildren and one grand-grandchild.
President of the School for Leaders Association.
He was born in 1925. During World War II he fought in the AK (Polish Home Army). He participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war he migrated to Great Britain. He studied Economy and Political Science at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and afterwards Political Philosophy and Political Science at Oxford University. In 1956 he defended his PhD dissertation on the political philosophy of Georg Hegel. In 1953 he started to work as a lecturer at Oxford University. He taught mostly political philosophy, political systems, history of social and political thought, political transformations in Central and Eastern Europe and post-war history of Poland. He organised a scholarship programme in Oxford for scientists and students from Central and Eastern Europe; over 1300 people participated in it. At the beginning of the 1990s he was the adviser of the Constitutional Commission of the Sejm (lower house of parliament) of the Republic of Poland and a member of the Prime Minister's Council for state clerks education. In 1988, on behalf of George Soros, he established the Stefan Batory Foundation in Poland. At this moment he is a member of the Foundation’s Council. In 1994 he founded the School for Young Social and Political Leaders (currently: School for Leaders Association) and still remains in charge of it.
Dr Leszek Czarnecki, as well as Noble Bank, who established the St Anthony’s College Oxford Noble Foundation for this purpose, decided to provide a long-term donation to finance the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University in the amount necessary to ensure the success of the project. In accordance with an agreement between the founder and St Antony’s College, Noble Bank made an initial transfer to Oxford of 6 million Polish zlotys. This amount will enable the further development of the Programme, the selection of its director from among world-renowned professors, the organization of a number of events and academic conferences, publications, and, something that is vital to the Programme, the opportunity to work with a variety of centres at Oxford and beyond.
This initial amount provides a foundation, and on top this, we would like to find much broader financing for the project so that it can develop more quickly and on a greater scale. The goal of the St Antony’s College Oxford Noble Foundation is to raise additional funds and to make it possible to engage everyone who would like to provide financial support to help build Polish Studies at Oxford.
Why is additional funding important?
Additional financial support is important, because it would allow us to increase the range of influence of the Programme and also to quickly include additional activities in the Programme. And what would the result of this be? The even more effective promotion of Poland and its modern successes. If you decide to provide a donation for the project, the funds will mainly be used to develop scholarship programs, both for experts from abroad who are engaged in creating content for the Programme and for Polish scholars, doctoral candidates and other students who, thanks to these funds, will be able to go to Oxford. Donations will also enable the rapid development of cooperative projects with educational institutions throughout the entire world, so that the achievements of the Programme on Modern Poland can be useful not only for students from Oxford but also for students from other prestigious institutions of higher learning.
You are invited to take part in the creation of a unique project
We are certain that this sort of project, based on long-term assumptions, should be planned and carried out with the participation and engagement of as many people as possible, including from intellectual and business circles and from the public.
If you are interested in helping create such a unique project, please contact Mr. Marcin Dobrzelecki tel. 785-908-584
In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of Oxford, strategic donors permanently enter into the noble history of the institution's development. They will also have an influence on, and be involved in, the activities and honorary projects of the St Antony’s College Oxford Noble Foundation.
The Foundation's KRS 0000436354 , account number in PLN 27 1460 1181 2002 5333 2369 0001
Ul. Przyokopowa 33
Marcin Dobrzelecki - firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation Board of Trustees
Maciej Szczechura - email@example.com
Hanna Waśko - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for call for funding applications
Programme on Modern Poland
Contact for media
PLN bank account: 27 1460 1181 2002 5333 2369 0001