On 8 December 2016, Professor Richard BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI, Chairholder of the European Civilization Chair at the College of Europe, Natolin campus, delivered a paper to a conference held at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. The conference, co-organized by the Chair of Polish Studies at Cambridge University and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the UK on the subject of "Polish Political Thought in the Twentieth Century and Today", gathered distinguished political scientists, historians, cultural scholars and a poet from the UK, Poland, the USA and Hungary.
Professor BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI’s paper was titled "A Republican Turn? The Reputation of the Commonwealth from Roman DMOWSKI and Władysław KONOPCZYŃSKI to Andrzej NOWAK and Lech KACZYŃSKI". On the cusp of renewed Polish statehood in the early twentieth century, the ideological climate in Polish politics did not encourage defences of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s diverse composition or its republican constitution and values. However in recent decades the opportunity has arisen to write Poland-Lithuania firmly into the global "republican turn" in political thought, which posits an alternative to modern liberalism in early modern republican ideas. Citing several key Polish politicians and historians, Professor BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI posed the question of how far the role played by the Commonwealth in Polish political discourse has changed during the long twentieth century.