Casimir Zablotski from Buffalo, New York, is the recipient of the Fourth Annual James Piereson Fellowship.  He received the $3000 award from The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) to perform postgraduate work in Poland through a program with the Kosciuszko Foundation.

Casimir Zablotski standing by a statue of revolutionary war hero Tadeusz Kościuszko.

A 2022 graduate of Hamilton College where he majored in political science and history, he spent September 2022 to January 2023, completing postgraduate research at the University of Warsaw.  He interviewed scholars, lobbyists, and members of the financial world, and he spent many hours translating academic literature to research contemporary Polish attitudes towards global capitalism, Catholicism, and liberalism.

“I am particularly intrigued by Poland’s current political culture as both the American Left and Right perceive it,” remarked Mr. Zablotski. “There is truth in both interpretations of contemporary Polish society, but they are ultimately ideological appropriations that lack nuance and did not capture the situation on the ground in Poland. I found my research difficult at times because I wanted to capture the whole picture, which gave my project a daunting scope and meant diving into an expansive sociohistorical context that I am familiar with but by no means an expert on.  Poland’s republican tradition, spiritual and geographic relationship with the West, attitude towards the European Union, and its modern history of suffering after the Partitions and under both the Nazis and Communists all complicate this assessment.  I have produced countless pages analyzing these topics and synthesizing them with oral interviews of Polish citizens. I cannot express my gratitude enough to both the Kosciuszko Foundation and AHI for allowing me to pursue this project.”

Beyond his research, Mr. Zablotski enjoyed living in Warsaw. “To move through an exciting and rapidly growing city that so strongly rebuilt itself from almost nothing, to learn and speak my family’s language, and to interact everyday with such a beautiful culture and resilient people, are all invaluable experiences that I am glad to have had, and I hope to find myself back in Poland soon.”

With this award, AHI honors James Piereson, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and trustee of the William E. Simon Foundation.  Dr. Piereson serves on numerous boards including The Pinkerton Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, The Center for Individual Rights, the Foundation for Cultural Review, the American Spectator Foundation, Donors Trust, the William F. Buckley, Jr., Program at Yale University, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He has published dozens of articles in leading journals and newspapers and is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (2007); The Inequality Hoax (2014); Why Redistribution Fails (2015) and Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Postwar Political Order (2015). He received his Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University in 1973.