Author: Anna Kowalczyk

Malgorzata Fidelis in her book Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland sets out to examine gender policies during Stalinism and their transformation under the subsequent ‘Polish road to socialism’. She shows that the relative political liberalisation in the late 1950s was also accompanied by the abandonment of policies favouring women and the return to conservative prewar gender hierarchies. The essay finds that the book is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the vicissitudes of gender struggle during Communism in Poland. It also makes a contribution to the understanding of how the principles declared by the Communist Party were modified in response not only to economic necessities but also to local cultures and popular struggles. In this way it sheds light on the process of the legitimation of the Communist regime in Poland and beyond by accommodating demands from below.

In: Historical Materialism


The doctrine of usucaption (Latin usucapio) has had long history in Roman Law and was inherited by numerous legal systems of today. However, it is currently less relevant to the security of legal transactions because this function has largely been taken over by real estate registration systems.

This manifestation of legal instrumentalism is aimed at protecting a significant social value – the credibility of a legal title to land. This article explores legal aspects of functioning of usucaption in modern systems of land registration. It includes a case study of three countries (Poland, Germany, England). The system of title registration is modelled both by positive and negative model and moreover by English, German-Swiss and Torrens model. Different solutions are intended to ensure legal certainty and credibility but in the same time they completely make usucaption of real estate impossible. Consequently, modernized provisions may lead to the loss by usucaption its binding power and it causes the risk of desuetudo.

In: Modernisation, National Identity and Legal Instrumentalism (Vol. I: Private Law)

Domestication of dogs involved strong artificial selection. After their introduction into the human environment, dogs were exposed to factors that were not encountered in the wild. The skin and hair are barriers separating the organism from the environment, and melanin plays a significant role in their protective function. The study compared a fragment of the sequence of the DCT gene, which is involved in melanin synthesis, between two species: the dog, which is exposed to similar carcinogenic factors as humans, and the raccoon dog, a species related to the dog but less exposed to anthropogenic factors.

A fragment of the DCT gene 443 base pairs in length was obtained. Two genotypes were distinguished within the raccoon dog population, differing in one nucleotide in the intron sequence (145A>G). Between the DNA profile of the dog and the consensus sequence of the raccoon dog, 18 polymorphic sites were found – 15 in the intron sequence and 3 in the exon sequence. One change in the exon (191G>A) caused an amino acid change (2E>K). The loss of two binding sites for factor SOX10 and one for JUN-FOS was noted in the dog sequence.

On the basis of the sequence analysed, non-coding regions were found to be more susceptible to changes. Polymorphism in introns may affect the transcription profile of the DCT gene. The loss of binding sites for factors SOX10 and JUN-FOS in the dog may be an adaptive change to a different environment with respect to the raccoon dog.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution