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Centre of Migration Research

Lucy Mayblin, Aneta Piekut, Gill Valentine. 2016.

‘Other’ posts in ‘other’ places: Poland through a Postcolonial lens?


Sociology. Vol. 50(1) | pages: 60-76



Postcolonial theory has tended to focus on those spaces where European colonialism has had a territorial and political history. This is unsurprising, as much of the world is in this sense ‘postcolonial’. But not all of it. This article focuses on Poland, often theorised as peripheral to ‘old Europe’, and explores the application of postcolonial analyses to this ‘other’ place. The article draws upon reflections arising from a study of responses to ethnic diversity in Warsaw, Poland. In doing so we conclude that postcolonialism does indeed offer some important insights into understanding Polish attitudes to other nationalities, and yet more work also needs to be done to make the theoretical bridge. In the case of Poland we propose the ‘triple relation’ be the starting point for such work.


diversity, Eastern Europe, modernity, Poland, postcolonialism, Warsaw