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Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity
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Post Colonial Debate In Poland And Its Relationship to Different visions of Modernity

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  • 1. “ Post-colonial Debate in Poland and its Relationship to Different Visions of Modernity” Session “Post-Colonialism, Multiple Modernities and Historical-Comparative Sociology” at the 38th IIS World Congress , Budapest 2008 . Tomasz ZARYCKI Insitute for Social Studies University of Warsaw www.iss.uw.edu.pl/zarycki
  • 2. Applications of the post-colonial theory to the interpretation of Poland’s history <ul><li>Poland as a Colony </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The „partition period” – (1795 – 1918) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The communist period – Poland as a Soviet colony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The post-commun is t period – Western domination (periphery, semi-periphery) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poland as an Empire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ist Republic (Rzeczpospolita) period (pre-1795) . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The inter-war period (1918-1939) . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The post-communist period (symbolic colonialism) </li></ul></ul>
  • 3. The partition period (1795-1918) <ul><li>Polish lands divided between three empires: Austrian, Prussian and Russian </li></ul><ul><li>Three different modes of colonization rarely seen as colonization . </li></ul><ul><li>Constant debate regarding the asses e ment of the heritage of each of the empires. Three regions and their „modernization readiness” </li></ul><ul><li>Tomasz Zarycki (2007) History and regional development. A controversy over the ‘right’ interpretation of the role of history in the development of the Polish regions. Geoforum, 38 , 485–493. </li></ul>
  • 4. The three post-colonial regions of Poland <ul><li>The former Austrian zone (Galicja or Małopolska – Little Poland) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively positive image, appreciation of multi-national modernity of the Empire seen as a model for post-national Europe. Economic backwardness criticized, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The former Prussian zone (Wielkopolska – Greater Poland) </li></ul><ul><li>- Relatively positive image. Appreciation of modernity of Prussia, rule of law, efficiency. Critici s m of Germanization politcies. </li></ul><ul><li>The former Russian zone (Kongresówka – the Congress Kingdom) </li></ul><ul><li>- Negative, one-sided image of authoritarian even barbarian and backward state. </li></ul>
  • 5. The communist period <ul><li>Attitude towards the communist past as the dominating cleavage of the post-communist period. </li></ul><ul><li>(Post)-communists radically against (post)-colonial interpretation of the communist period. Rather call for communism as a remedy for Poland’s dependence on the West. Emphasis on positive aspects of Soviet imposed modernization program. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-communists much more open to the post-colonial interpretation. Soviet Union viewed as colonial power. </li></ul><ul><li>Modernization visions should consider communist period solutions as non-acceptable. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomasz Zarycki (2000) Politics in the periphery: Political cleavages in Poland interpreted in their historical and international context. Europe-Asia Studies, 52 (5), 851-873. </li></ul>
  • 6. Poland as a colony of Russia and the Soviet Union <ul><li>Poland’s obsession with the Russian/Soviet domination. Russia as Poland’s significant other. </li></ul><ul><li>Ru s sian/Soviet domination seen as a source of most problems of the country, society and economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Russia/Soviet Union as a political and symbolic hegenom, in pa r ticular in the international arena. </li></ul><ul><li>Polish voice silenced, and dominated by Russian voices. Need of building of a strong economy and strong state as conditions for regaining of an independent, well recognized Polish voice . </li></ul><ul><li>Ewa M. Tho m pson (2000) Imperial Knowledge. Russian Literature and Colonialism , Greenwood Press . </li></ul>
  • 7. Post-communist period <ul><li>The post-colonial theory embraced by the anti-communist conservative right wing . Main authors : Ewa M.Tho m pson and Zdzisław Krasnodębski </li></ul><ul><li>Critic is ms of Poland’s post-communist and liberal intellectual elites as colonial elites , „clients” of the West. </li></ul><ul><li>The West as a „ substitute hegemon ” after the colapse of the Soviet Union . </li></ul><ul><li>Post-colonial frustration, pessimism, helplessness, looking for a heg e mon, patron typical for post-communist Poland . Lack of confidence in own count r y and its people. Dependence on Western ideas and elites. </li></ul><ul><li>Ewa M. Thompson (2005) Said a sprawa polska. Przeciwko kulturowej bezsilności peryferii. Europa, 29 June 2005 , 11. </li></ul>
  • 8. The conservative modernization program <ul><li>Need of overcoming the post-colonial syndrome, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attain i g self-confidence in the international scene. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforcement of the state and its support for national culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abandoning of the modernization programs based on modernization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition of Poland’s specificities and traditions including traditional ambiguity towards Enlightenment and revolutions, role of the Catholic Church. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revival of the glorious traditions of the First Rzeczpospolita </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Krasnodębski, Z. (2004). Democracy at the Periphery. Sarmatian Review, XXIV (2). </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Leftist criticism of post-communist Poland <ul><li>Critic i sm of the zealousness of the liberal elites in unreflexive implementation of neo-liberal economic reforms as behaviour of post-colonial elites trying to fit to domination discourse in the new Western center. </li></ul><ul><li>Criticsm of self-orientalization: depiction of Poles (with the exception of the libe r al elite) as homo-sovieticuses , backward, populist, Eastern, prisoners of anti-modern traditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Michał Buchowski (2006). The Specter of Orientalism in Europe: From Exotic Other to Stigmatized Brother. Anthropological Quarterly, 79 (3), 463-482. </li></ul>
  • 10. Poland as an Empire <ul><li>Ambiguities of Poland’s role, because of its historical domination of much of the contemporary Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine. </li></ul><ul><li>Also specific attitude to Russia, considered as politically and economically dominant but cultura r ly inferior. </li></ul><ul><li>Poland’s double role of an oppressor and a victim. </li></ul><ul><li>First reference s to post-colonia l theory: </li></ul><ul><li>Claire Cavanagh (2004) Postcolonial Poland. Common Knowledge, 10 (1), 82-92. </li></ul><ul><li>Dariusz Skórczewski (2006) Modern Polish Literature Through a Postcolonial Lens. Sarmatian Review, XXVI (3). </li></ul>
  • 11. Criti c ism of the Polish post-Imperial discou r se. <ul><li>Russia as the Polish underdog and the synonym of the Orient. Polish disc o u r se on Russia a compensation of (post-)colonial dependence on the West </li></ul><ul><li>Modernization as cleansing of Russian/Soviet elements in all spheres of social reality, including language and memory. </li></ul><ul><li>Moving West towards modernity = Moving away from Russia. </li></ul><ul><li>Maxim K.Waldstein (2002) Observing Imperium: A Postcolonial Reading of Ryszard Kapuscinskis Account of Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. Social Identities, 8 (3), 481-499. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomasz Zarycki (2004) Uses of Russia: The role of Russia in the modern Polish national identity. East European Politics and Societies, 18 (4), 595-627. </li></ul>
  • 12. Criti c ism of the Polish post-Imperial discou r se (continued) <ul><li>Polish discourse of „Kresy” – the former „Borderland” zone. </li></ul><ul><li>Seen as typical post-colonial nostalgic and idealized image of a former colony. </li></ul><ul><li>Debate concerns to what extend the Kresy discourse deserves condemnation, and to what extend it is a justified revival of lost memories </li></ul><ul><li>Bogusław Bakuła (2006) Kolonialne i postkolonialne aspekty polskiego dyskursu kresoznawczego (zarys problematyki). Teksty Drugie, 6 , 11-33. </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel Beauvois (2006) „Kresomania”, Wywiad z Danielem Beauvois. Tygodnik Powszechny, 26 marca 2006 r. </li></ul>
  • 13. Poland’s imperial history as a source of two modernization models. Two tradit i onal projects of rebuild i ng and modernization of the Polish state <ul><li>The Dmowski model: national homogenization, Polonization of minorities with the help of the Catholic Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on Western „modern nation state” models, partly implemented during the communist period (pro-Russian) </li></ul><ul><li>The Piłsudski model: multi-national country, with a clear Chu r ch-state separation. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the First Rzeczpospolita Model (anti-Russian). </li></ul>
  • 14. Contraditions: <ul><li>The Dmowski model largely discredited. </li></ul><ul><li>But both models can be accused of colonial ambitions. </li></ul><ul><li>The Piłsudski model often seen as implemented in the post-communist period, stimulating hegemonic aspirations e.g. Poland’s involvement in the Orange Revolution. </li></ul>
  • 15. Thank you for you attention! Session “Post-Colonialism, Multiple Modernities and Historical-Comparative Sociology” at the 38th IIS World Congress , Budapest 2008 . Tomasz ZARYCKI Insitute for Social Studies University of Warsaw www.iss.uw.edu.pl/zarycki

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