Between Integration and Exclusion: Ethnic Minorities at the Polish Eastern Border after the First Decade of Transition
Post-Socialist liberalisation has returned ethnic minorities in Central Eastern Europe to the spotlight. In border regions where inter-ethnic dialogue is burdened by historical conflicts that for over four decades were taboo, various developments now coincide. On the one hand, permeable borders and political transition have resulted in new legal rights for minorities coupled with vastly improved possibilities for contact and communication with their native country. On the other hand, historical antagonisms have re-emerged and are being debated again in the new sociopolitical climate. The eastern enlargement of the European Union is bound to spawn new challenges and threats for inter-ethnic dialogue. Against this background, this article addresses inter-ethnic issues at the Polish eastern border over the last decade. It highlights different forms of the integration and exclusion of minorities in the light of transition and European Union enlargement, taking as examples the Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Belarusian border regions.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01