Elite Strategies in a Global World: A Typology of Polish Patriots


  • Joanna Kaftan

    1. University of Houston–Downtown
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Joanna Kaftan is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Houston–Downtown. Her current research interests include national commemoration, national identity, religion and democracy, and migration.


This study focuses on how Polish elites view the relationship between Polish identity and Poland's place in the world. Samples of priests, politicians, and intellectuals were interviewed in 1999 and 2009. A typology of four ideal types is proposed: ideological nationals, pragmatic nationals, pragmatic transnationals, and ideological transnationals. This typology can be viewed as a continuum of elite emphasis ranging between national and transnational themes. This continuum of emphasis can be seen when examining elite responses to questions concerning NATO membership, EU membership, Polish identity, and Polish democracy. This study finds that while the majority of Polish priests and politicians wished to emphasise national over transnational themes, intellectuals stressed transnational themes. Nevertheless, most acknowledged the inseparable nature of these themes when they talked about the contemporary Polish nation.