national identity

  • Political Dimension of Welsh Identity after Devolution: Fact or Fiction?

    The Welsh identity is undisputable in national (i.e. ethnic), social, cultural and even economic dimensions however it is doubtful in political sphere because vast majority of the Welsh still cannot decide if they are more Welsh or British. The ’double identity’ dilemma was visible especially during devolution referendums voting in 1979, 1997 and 2011 when non–political motives were often much more determinative then the factor of belonging to the Welsh community in political meaning. Thus, answering to the question about devolution referendum role in shaping political dimension of Welshness requires thoroughly analyse of the mentioned referendums results as an evident figures of public support for establishing legal and institutional guarantees of maintaining and developing all aspects of national identity. In the article has been contained description how the Welsh relations to the idea of self–determination (in frames of the wide internal autonomy) have changed by last 35 years. An author shows also barriers and factors fostering this process. 

  • Sacralisation and Purification of the Nation in the Polish and Russian Nationalist Thought?

    Both in the Polish and Russian language the term ‘nation’ is understood in a slightly different way than the English word ‘nation’. It is understood not only in cultural but also political terms, and in numerous contexts it is used to denote ‘the people’ or an ‘ethnic nation/ethnos’. Thus, when we use words ‘nation, nationality, narodnost’, sometimes only the context makes it possible to decide whether we mean the nation, nation or ethnos. However, this lack of clear distinction in the colloquial discourse should not make one conclude that there are not fully shaped nations in Poland and Russia. It is just that the colloquial discourse fails to notice these vague distinctions. In the scientific discourse in both countries, these di! erentiations have been precisely defined and used for a long time.

  • Populism and National Identity

    Populism became a signi! cant factor of political debates in Eastern and Western countries of the EU and a new force in European party systems in the nineties. The frame for the discussion on populism is made by the representative form of democracy and responding to it dual system of media of communication. The popularity of populist parties and movements nowadays reflects the crisis of representative democracy. It is accompanied by the growing role of media in politics, which might be seen as the result of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the existing models of intermediation. The media also play a crucial role in the process of identity creation, at the same moment they illustrate the dificulty of defining identity anew.

  • Polish emigrants in conditions of integration and unification of the world

    The formation of the global civil community causes the e€ acing of division into “the natives” and “the strangers” within the framework of individual states. Integration and unification processes give a new dimension to such notions as: emigration, diaspora and national identity. Emigration is more and more o‚ en comprehended as civilization phenomenon. Its positive economic, political and cultural advantages are the focus of attention; the countries that receive emigrants very o‚ften reap the economical benefits and the emigrants themselves solve the problems of unemployment in their own countries; migrational movements, on the other hand, help solve political and social problems, make the global integration, and mixing of cultural and civilization norms easier. Emigration itself helps to achieve cultural compromises, get used to mutual dissimilarities and accept di€fferences.

  • Nacionalnoe samosoznanie i integracionnye processy luzhickikh serbov v Germanskojj imperii Chast II: Ot pervojj mirov vojjny do nashikh dnejj (ot 1914 goda do nachala XXI v.)

    The First World War (1914–1918) was inextricably connected with regular conscription. Undoubtedly it had a huge impact on reducing the population of Sorbs in Germany. Their number decreased from 102 801 to 70 998 people between the censuses in 1910 and 1925. After World War I, Lusatia failed to become a country independent of the German Empire. On 7 October 1925 the national organizations of Sorbs united (Maćica Serbska, Domowina, Lusatian Alliance) and established the Wendish People’s Party, which on 26 January 1924 accessed the Association of National Minorities in Germany. The Association’s publication was the monthly “Kulturwille” (since January 1926 “Kulturwehr”), which was issued until 1938. Its editor was a Sorb – Jan Skala (1889–1945). The censuses of 1925 and 1933 claimed that nearly 73,000 Sorbs lived in Germany. Under Hitler all Sorbian associations were dissolved and in both parts of Lusatia more than 60 Sorb ian place names were removed and replaced by German ones. The years of World War II (1939–1945) is the most tragic period in the history of the Sorbs – a period of even worse persecutions, arrests, taking the Sorbs to the concentration camps, the destruction of their properties, the suppression of all forms of autonomy and selforganization. Freedom from Fascism was given to the Sorbs on 6 April 1945 by troops of First Ukrainian Front and the Polish Second Army. On 23 March 1948 – under pressure from the Soviet occupation authorities – the National Parliament of Saxony (Landtag) passed a law guaranteeing the rights of the Sorbs. GDR authorities sought to reduce the population of the Sorbs and the use of Sorbian language. Only after the absorption of the GDR by the FRG – called the second unification of Germany – on 3 October 1990, the Sorbian population began to use civil rights emerging from the Basic Law of the FRG. Currently about 60,000 Sorbs live in Germany, out of which 20,000 in Brandenburg (Protestants) speaking Lower Sorbian (similar to Polish), and 40,000 in Saxony (Catholics) speaking Upper Sorbian (similar to Czech). The majority are elderly people (60 and over). Younger generation speaks almost exclusively German.

  • Nacionalnoe samosoznanie i integracionnye processy luzhickikh serbov v Germanskojj imperii Chast I: Ot srednevekovja do pervojj mirov vojjny (do 1914 g.)

    The Slavs came from the steppes of Eastern Europe to Balkan Peninsula in the firsthalf of the 1st millennium A.D. At the turn of the 6th century some of the tribes,looking for new places to settle, arrived at the area between the Elbe and Oder– occupying an area abandoned by Germanic tribes, who moved to the ScandinavianPeninsula – and were called Wends. Southern Slavs invaded and settledin Lusatia and reached the Saale. In the middle of the 9th century there were almost 50 Slavic settlements in Lusatia under the rule of Prince Derwan, an ally of Samo. At the turn of the 10th century, the Sorbs came under the influence of the Great Moravia (822–895), which adopted Christianity as early as the 9th century(831), and then Bohemia (895–1018), and from 1002 Poland (Christian since 965) tried to take control over the area. Boleslaw I of Poland invaded Lusatia and won it in the Peace of Bautzen (1018). In the Reformation period, Sorbian peasants and common people massively supported the teachings of Martin Luther, although he was opposed to translating the Bible into Slavic. Evangelicalism proved to be beneficial for the Sorbian national culture. It influenced its revival and strengthening. The University of Wittenberg became Sorbian cultural center, with its rector between years 1559–1576 being a doctor of Sorbian origin – Kasper Pauker from Bautzen. What strengthened the Sorbian national identity at the turn of the 19th century was the activity of Moravian Church (seeking to transform Lutheranism in people’s church), which was then settled in Upper Lusatia in Herrnhut, Niesky and Kleinwelka. At the turn of the 20th century the number of Sorbs in Germany decreased to about 157 000 people, out of whom as many as 10 100 lived outside Lusatia (including 4147 in Saxony – but without Lower Lusatia, 2687 in Westphal ia, 1521 in Rhineland, 847 in Berlin and 898 in other areas of the German Empire). The language widely used in Lusatia was Sorbian with its Lower and Upper dialect. The basis of the national activities of the Sorbs in Germany was “Serbian House” founded on 26 September 1904 in Bautzen to serve as a library, museum, bank, bookshop and publisher. The outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914 gave hope to the Slavs to establish their own countries.

  • Beyond “Recognition”. The Polish Perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian National Identities: Preliminary Assumptions of Research

    The paper aims to provide an overview of the main streams of perception of Israeli and Palestinian national identities by Polish authorities and society, as well as analyze their sources. The study covers the period of time when both of the national identities took shape, that is since the beginning of the mass Jewish migration to Palestine at the beginning of the XXth century until the present time. As the Jews have for a long time been an important part of Polish history and society, Poles have a strong perception of Jewish, and consequently also Israeli, identity. Polish Jews, who played a crucial role in establishing the Israeli state and shaping Israeli national identity, were treated by many Poles as “our Jews”. This perception was conditioned by internal factors, such as social relations, cultural proximity, historical memory or political views. In contrast, a  perception of the Palestinian identity from the very beginning was conditioned externally, because it resulted from international political developments and a narrative imposed by foreign powers. Another special feature of the Polish perception of Israeli and Palestinian identity is the fact that public opinion very often differs significantly from the political position of state authorities.

  • Israeli-Ukrainian Relations after ‘the Euromaidan Revolution’ – the Holocaust and the New Ukrainian Identity in the Context of the European Aspirations of Ukraine

    The Euromaidan revolution totally reoriented Ukraine’s policy in both internal and external dimensions. The new Ukrainian authorities facing Russian aggression and domestic instability started to build a new national identity in order to consolidate social cohesion. Due to the fact that Kiev’s new historical narrative glorifies the Ukrainian nationalists from the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who contributed to the Holocaust of Jews and committed mass murders on the representatives of other nationalities, such a  policy may be a  serious obstacle in the context of Ukraine’s external relations. The present article investigates particularly Israeli-Ukrainian relations after the Euromaidan revolution. The article analyses the impact of the new Ukrainian identity on bilateral relations as well as attempting to answer whether or not it may influence Kiev’s cooperation with the European Union. The article contains a brief description of the new identity building process in the post-Euromaidan Ukraine with special consideration of those elements of it, which are related to “Ukrainian Nationalism”.

  • From Conflict to Reconciliation. Creating the National Identity on the Polish-Lithuanian Borderland

    The authors are discussing the shaping of the national identity of Polish-Lithuanian frontier denizens, regarding the historical events of the 20th century. In the first part of the article, they present a brief historical sketch of Polish-Lithuanian relations, putting significant emphasis on the moment of the Sejny uprising beginning, that is August 22nd, 1919. Reclamation of independence after World War I put both countries in a challenging position of building own nationality image. Defining own territorial affiliation of the Sejny region spawned an exceptionally harsh conflict between Poles and Lithuanians, leading to the uprising. The results of these events echo in Polish-Lithuanian relations in the Sejny region to this day. The second part of the article is devoted to the presentation of the multidimensional and constantly created identity concept by Jerzy Nikitorowicz, as an introduction to considering the shaping process of identity among youth of the cultural borderland. The authors point to the fact how important it is to find a platform of dialogue for both parties. They explain selected activities regarding intercultural education, accomplished in local environments by the “Borderland of arts, cultures and nations” center animators in Sejny.

  • Językowy aspekt tożsamości Polaków Donbasu

    W podjętych rozważaniach autorzy analizują obecny stan tożsamości Polaków zamieszkujących na terenach Ukrainy wschodniej ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem sytuacji językowej na Donbasie. Przeprowadzone badania pozwalają stwierdzać, iż ze względu na specyficzne mechanizmy tygla kulturowego w Ukrainie wschodniej tworzy się jakościowo nowy gatunek kultury polskiej. W środowiskach polonijnych, gdzie nie ma ciągłości kultury ojczystej, kultywowane są tylko niektóre jej elementy, o czym często decyduje nieliczna grupa działaczy i społeczników. Dlatego tak zwany renesans polskiej mniejszości na Wschodzie ma charakter spontaniczny i nieukierunkowany. Dotyczy to również znajomości języka polskiego i motywacji podjęcia jego nauki.

  • Statehood Without the State: The Politico-Legal Visions of the Future State of Tibet

    The main purpose of this article is to analyze the situation of modern Tibet, which political and legal structures are divided into the Central Tibetan Administration in India and the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. What connects them is a developing national identity of the Tibetans and the actions taken by the Central Tibetan Administration to create a new and independent state. Of great importance for the specificity of politics and the shaping of Tibetan national identity are also activities of the 14th Dalai Lama, who internationally promotes Tibetan culture and informs about the situation of Tibetans living in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China.
    Dalai Lama is also the author of the draft constitution of the future state of Tibet, which content is a basis of the analysis in this article. Due to the comprehensive presentation and explanation of the specifics of this project, we will analyze not only particular articles, but also the introduction that we can consider as preamble. Thanks to this, it will be possible to show the relationship between political, legal and religious issues that make up the visions of the new state of Tibet.
    This article is divided into two related parts. The first one is connected with national identity and independence of Tibet. The second part is focused on democratization of Tibet and relation between religion and politics.

  • The Political Philosophy of “the Nation”: Idea, Reality, and the Constitution

    When we think of our understanding of the category of ‘the nation’, turning to the most important official document and source for which this category is central – namely, the constitution of the modern democratic state – could yield new insights into how the category of ‘nation’ could be understood and interpreted. No other document is focused on ‘the nation’ and/or ‘the people’ to such an extent and, likewise, no other act seems so dependent on a particular understanding of the term of ‘the nation’/‘the people’. In this study, I decided to analyze how specific constitutions of selected democratic states (particularly in Europe) choose to define the category of ‘the people’/‘the nation’, and why, providing contemporary explanations as well as exploring relevant historical background of how the understanding of this capital category came to be shaped. This perspective serves as lens through which I examine ‘the nation’ as a sociological and political category.

  • Lazaryści ambasadorami tożsamości narodowej Polaków na wschodzie Europy. Przeszłość – teraźniejszość – przyszłość

    The article is dedicated to the activity on the part of Congregation of the Mission founded by Vincent de Paul, the so-called Lazarians, starting with their arrival to Poland in the 17th century, followed by their activity spreading to various parts of the Polish Republic in the subsequent centuries and the Mission’s difficulties in the 20th century in what is now Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Attention is also given to the scope and role of Congregation of the Mission in maintaining religious, linguistic and cultural traditions in the local Polish diasporas.


    In this article we focus on the question of the national identity of a famous adventurer and traveller Count Mauritius August Benyovszky (Polish: Beniowski, 1746-1786). Despite the fact that Benyovszky was born in present-day Slovakia and he sometimes described himself as a Pole, his national identity could not be labelled as either Slovak or Polish.

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