Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the 21st Century Poland

Mosaic of Ethnic and Religious
Communities in the 21st Century Eastern
Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus
Family history
• Vilnus, Vil’nius, Wilno, Vil’nia, Vilne, Wilna, Vilnius
• Lviv, L’viv, Lwów, L’vou, L’vov, Lemberik, Lemberg
Husakow (Mościska), Galizien, Austria; later Hussakow (Mościska), Lwow, Poland;
now Husakiv, Mostys′ka, L′viv, Ukraine
Sentimentalism, roots and
roots of sentimentalism
• Critical approach to family
• Critical approach to national
‘Que’est-ce qu’une nation?’
(Ernest Renan)
• Primordialism and
• Modernism
• Ethno-symbolism
Jus Sanguinis vs. Jus Solis
• Changes in political
• Impact of war and regime
resettlements in different
• Socio-economic factors
• Religious tolerance under
successive governments
• Cultural exchange
Where do I begin?
Obstacles on the path of each researcher
Strategies and Methodology
• Choosing theories
“A good theory explains important phenomena: it answers
questions that matter to the wider world, or it helps answer
such questions” (Stephen Van Evera, 1997; 19)
• Case selection
“The more cases or examples that are studied, the more likely
that common causes can be found and generalizations made.
Political events are often clarified and illuminated by
comparison with similar events and processes in other
contexts” (Burnham, Gilland, Grant, Leyton-Henry, 2004:55)
• Process Tracing
Archival research and interviews with academics from
University of Wroclaw, University of Opole, and other
national, and local institutions.
Where the East meets the West
“For every nation is one people, having its own natural form, as well as its
own language (…) and originality of [national] characters extends to
families” (Herder, 1968:7).
Role of language in
creating and recreating:
Ukrainian nationalism
Lithuanian nationalism
Belorussian nationalism
“The new intelligentsia of nationalism had to invite masses into history (…),
the invitation card had to be written in the language they all understood”
(Anderson, 1983:80).
Religion & Cultural Heritage
• Role of religion and cultural heritage in preservation of
identity of the local communities
• Lithuanians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Tartars, Germans,
Lemkos, and other communities
• Religious communities of eastern Poland: Catholics, Eastern rite,
Byzantine rite, Greek Catholic, Sunni Islam
Aims for the future research
• Establishing what the communities lost and what they gained
will give a wider perspective of globalisation in the East
• To present multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies within
the rural regions of eastern frontier of European Union
• to present whether modern developments in the fields of
economy, science and philosophy allowed those communities
to preserve their traditions or exchange them for modern
thought and solutions
• To reconstruct multicultural pattern of societies in different
periods of history
• To preserve family histories and cultural artefacts remaining in
the regions of Mazury, Podlasie, Podkarpacie, and other
regions on the territories of Poland, Lithuania, Russian Federal
District of Kaliningrad, Belarus and Ukraine