The Post-Colonial Discourse versus the History of Poland

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Krystyna Romaniszyn

Abstract

This paper seeks to answer whether it is right to refer to the concepts of colonialism and colonization when interpreting the history of the Republic of Poland. Drawing on the so-called post-colonial discourse in Poland, the author puts forward the problem of methodological nature. The point is that the basic concepts in this discourse are not well-defined and yet, despite this drawback, they are used as analytical categories in the reinterpretation of the history of Poland. This fact, as the author notes, deprives the post-colonial discourse of its being reliable and scientifically valuable. Addressing the problem posed by the initiator of the discourse under consideration, the author analyses first the concept of colony, colonization, and colonialism, and then examines whether it is justified to apply them in relation to the Republic of Poland. In the course of her analysis, she focuses also on the problem of the colonization of Poland by her three invaders: Russia, Prussia, and Austria. It follows from the analysis the, firstly, the concept of colonialism has no application in the interpretation of the past of Poland and its usage is a categorical abuse; the concept of colonization is used within certain limits and does not concern the state's activity, but the migration of settlers and attitudes adopted by some citizens in some periods of the Republic of Poland and her history; the concept of colonization, however, can be applied to the interpretation of politics of all three invaders towards the Polish Republic and all her resources.

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