Політична репрезентація поляків в Україні на локальному рівні (за результатами досліджень 2015-2016 рр. на Житомирщині)
Political Representation of Poles in Ukraine at the Local Level (Based on the Research Results of 2015–2016 Years in Zhytomyr Region)
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The issue of representing interests of national minorities in the political sphere is relevant for Ukraine as a multi-ethnic state. The Polish minority stands out among others considering the nature of the Ukrainian-Polish relations in the past and under the current conditions. Therefore, the analysis of the representation of the Polish community in local government of Ukraine, particularly in Zhytomyr region where the largest community of Poles lives, has an essential scientific and practical significance. The research of the political representation of Poles in Zhytomyr region began in September 2015 when prof. Slawomir Lodzinski (Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw) and associate professor Serhii Rudnytskyi (Zhytomyr Ivan Franko State University) launched the international research seminar "Representation of National Minorities at the Local Level – Poles in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Poland". In the 2015-2016 academic year, the participants of the seminar from Ukraine aimed at investigating activities of the Polish minority in selected areas of Zhytomyr region (taking into account the specifics of the socio-psychological faculty) and identifying its psychological determinants. Several locations in Zhytomyr region, where the Polish minority lives and/or which are characterized by activities in social and political life of the given settlement, were chosen for a study The research was related to Poles/persons of Polish origin in local government of the given locality. With regard to the political part of the research of the Ukrainian participants of the seminar, the study of 2015 turned out to have little effect. In the course of the research, the activity of the leaders of the Polish community, as well as the political activity of persons from the Polish national minority, were recorded in all localities under consideration at the level of local government. In the 2016–2017 academic year participants of the seminar changed. Bearing in mind experience of the previous year, the study became of a purely political nature. All works (with the exception of the research related to institutes representing the interests of the Polish minority at the regional level) were focused on revealing deputies of the Polish origin in local government bodies of Zhytomyr region, their links with the local Polish community and its institutions (primarily, with public organizations) and with all-Ukrainian political forces. Attention was drawn to the ties between ethnicity, the election campaign, and canvassing. Two works did not bring any new information on the political representation of the Poles in Zhytomyr region. The first one, which was devoted to associations representing the interests of the Polish national minority in Zhytomyr region, was more like a desk review. The second one, concerning the program documents of the candidates for deputy of the district councils of the Zhytomyr region who have Polish origin, was merely a methodology for studying documents by methods of mathematical statistics and did not include the results of empirical research. Two other works, dedicated to the participants of the local government in Zhytomyr region, provided new information on the political representation of the Polish minority at the local level. S. Chuprina in her work on deputies of the Polish origin of Berdychiv City Council found that some of the deputies of Berdychiv City Council are of Polish origin. The activity of one of the deputies is connected with the Polish social and cultural activities, namely with the Polish-language radio in Berdychiv, popular and scientific activity, the rebirth of the Polish cemetery in the city, and the initiative to create a museum of the Polish culture in Berdychiv. Yu. Vonsovych while studying the connection between the ethnic origin of deputies of Polish origin of Zhytomyr City Council with their electoral programs, found out that some of the deputies have Polish origin, which is understood and referred in various ways ("Polish origin", "Polish nationality", "Polish roots" ). There are also deputies who declare themselves Poles who have participated in projects of the Polish community which were aimed at its development.
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