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Title: The politics of stigmatization : Poland as a 'latecomer' in the European Union
Author: Krasnodębska, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 6332
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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The accession into NATO and the EU, from the perspective of the new Central and Eastern European members, symbolized their ‘return to Europe’. However, as the former outsiders have become insiders, they have become subjected to a new form of hierarchy. This is even reflected in international relations literature that studies the socialization of the new members into ‘European’ or ‘Western’ states (Checkel 2005; Gheciu 2005; Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier 2005, etc.). The new members continue to be perceived as geographically and culturally on the ‘verge of Europe’, ‘not quite European’ or ‘in transition’ (Wolff 1994; Kuus 2004a; Mälksoo 2010; Zarycki 2014). Their status as ‘latecomers’ in Western institutions has become a stigma. This dissertation asks how stigmatization and subjection to tacit hierarchies, constructed through discourse, affect a state’s foreign policy. It focuses on the East-West relation in the European Union as one example of a hierarchy within this community of states. This dissertation looks at Poland’s foreign policy in the EU. Analytically, I build on the concept of strategic culture, a set of collective, historically shaped ideas and norms guiding a state’s pursuit of security. I go beyond the existing literature to argue that the guiding principle of a state’s strategic culture is the pursuit of not just physical but ontological security, which refers to stable subjectivity (Giddens 1991; Kinnvall 2004; Mitzen 2006a; Zarakol 2010). The recognition as a full member of the ‘Western’ and ‘European’ identity community is essential for Poland’s ontological security. This dependence on recognition makes Poland particularly sensitive to stigmatization within that community. In three case studies, the 2003 Iraq crisis, the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, and the 2013/4 Ukraine crisis, I study how its ‘latecomer’ stigma, and quest for recognition as a full-fledged member of ‘Europe’, and the ‘West’, affects Poland’s foreign policy. I show how Polish foreign policy-makers alternate between two possible responses to stigmatization, adaptation and contestation, and how, paradoxically, both of these strategies often reinforce stigmatization.
Supervisor: Wydra, Harald Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: strategic culture ; foreign policy ; ontological security ; international institutions