Poland’s Illiberal Democracy: Ethno-Nationalism & Refugees

Poland's Illiberal Democracy: Ethno-Nationalism & Refugees poster


Research Authorship:

Evan Maslin

Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Clayton McCarl | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Dr. Nicholas de Villiers | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of English


There are 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, cumulating in the largest international humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. The resettlement and integration of these people is a transnational challenge that must be placed at the forefront of the global policy agenda. In Poland, discursive shifts fueled by false, advantageous, political narratives are leading to an unprecedented level of violence and discrimination towards both refugee and immigrant communities. Consistent strings of xenophobic attacks resulting in physical harm or destruction have occurred across the country, thus further uncovering a pattern of deliberate acts against immigrant and refugee populations. These heinous attacks underline how violent hate crimes plague the entire country and are not confined to a single city, region, or politically inclined area. Since this issue seems unresolvable at the state level due to PiS policies, it is critical that municipal refugee integration programs be used to combat this wave of anti-refugee sentiment through education, civil empowerment, and economic integration. This research project seeks to measure and compare the outcomes of refugees enrolled in municipal integration programs in the cities of Warsaw, Lublin, and Gdańsk to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs and to provide policymakers with recommendations as to how they can be improved.

2 thoughts on “Poland’s Illiberal Democracy: Ethno-Nationalism & Refugees”

  1. María Ángeles Fernández

    Fascinating work, Evan! I wonder how the changes to Poland’s memory law have played out in the rise of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment in the country, particularly with regard to Ukrainians…

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