On February 8, 2023, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) held the 12th Brown Bag Lunch Seminar on “The impact of the Russian aggression on the values of democracy and human rights in Poland,” with Dr. Krzysztof Krakowski, a lecturer at Collegio Carlo Alberto.
Dr. Krakowski reported on the results of a survey experiment investigating changes in attitudes towards Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Poland is the country that has accepted the most refugees due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 73% of Polish public opinion supporting the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees as of September 2022. The research team led by Dr. Krakowski posed the question of whether attitudes toward Ukrainian refugees would change due to changes in political messages or rising war costs. They conducted two surveys, in 2022 and 2023, totaling approximately 10,000 Polish citizens, presenting several discourses about the negative social and economic impacts of the Russian invasion on Poland and investigating how attitudes toward refugees might change depending on the given discourse. The survey’s results highlighted two significant points: first, even when receiving negative messages, support for Ukrainian refugees remains unwavering; second, Polish women have more negative attitudes toward Ukrainian refugees than men. Regarding the first point, anti-Russian sentiment is very strong in Poland, and anti-Ukrainian attitudes are taboo, daily contact (not just seeing, but speaking) with Ukrainians increases support for refugees, and strong paternalism within Poland contributes to unswerving support for Ukrainian refugees. As for the second point, it was mentioned that Polish women are less paternalistic than men, and Ukrainian women hold outdated views on gender equality.
During the Q&A session with about 20 students and professors from Hitotsubashi University, it was pointed out that women are more likely to be responsible for children’s education and household chores than men, making them more aware of the negative effects of the influx of refugees. Additionally, a master’s student born in Poland pointed out that fears of threats to Poland’s security if Russia’s invasion were to succeed, as well as expectations and pressures to accept refugees from other countries, have driven Polish society to support Ukraine. Dr. Krakowski agreed with these opinions and stated that a social desire to show that Poland, which has been in a “weak” position within Europe, has become “stronger” by accepting Ukrainian refugees may have a positive impact on support for Ukraine.
【Event Report prepared by】
NAKANO Tomohito (Master’s student, School of International and Public Policy)