The Political Potential of Upper Silesian Ethnoregionalist Movement

A Study in Ethnic Identity and Political Behaviours of Upper Silesians


In The Political Potential of Upper Silesian Ethnoregionalist Movement: A Study in Ethnic Identity and Political Behaviours of Upper Silesians Anna Muś offers a study on the phenomenon of ethnoregionalism in one of the regions in Poland. Since 1945, ethnopolitics in Poland have been based on the so-called assumption of the ethnic homogeneity of the Polish nation. Even the transformation of the political system to a fully democratic one in 1989 did not truly change it. However, over the last three decades, we can observe growing discontent in Upper Silesia and the politicisation of Silesian ethnicity. This is happening in a region with its own history of autonomy and culturally diversified society, where an ethnoregionalist political movement appeared already in 1989.

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Anna Muś, PhD (1992) is an assistant professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice. She has published articles and a book on minority rights and regionalism, especially in Upper Silesia.
List of Acronyms
List of Illustrations


1 Region, Ethnicity and Politics
 1.1 The Lipset-Rokkan Theory
 1.2 Centre-Periphery Opposition
 1.3 Political Behaviours
 1.4 Region and Regionalism
 1.5 Ethnic Conflict and Ethnic Mobilisation
 1.6 New Social Movements
 1.7 Regionalist and Ethnoregionalist Parties
 1.8 Issue and Value Voting – Theory
 1.9 Communities and Nationalism
 1.10 Ethnic Identity and Ideology
 1.11 Communities and International Law
 1.12 Communities and Polish Law
 1.13 Region, Ethnicity and Politics – Conclusions

2 Political Situation in Upper Silesia
 2.1 Upper Silesia – Definition, Names, Borders
 2.2 Upper Silesia – Subregions
 2.3 Upper Silesia – Historical Remarks
 2.4 Inter-War Period in the Silesian Autonomous Voivodeship
 2.5 Silesian Harm (or Upper Silesian Harm)
 2.6 Upper Silesia as Periphery
 2.7 Upper Silesians
 2.8 Upper Silesians in Scholarly Literature
 2.9 (Upper) Silesian Movement
 2.10 History of the Movement
 2.11 European Context
 2.12 Political Situation in Upper Silesia – Conclusions

3 Methodology
 3.1 Aim and Object
 3.2 Research Questions and Hypothesis
 3.3 Terminology and Indicators
 3.4 Methods, Techniques and Tools
 3.5 Sampling
 3.6 Procedure

4 Political Organisations in Upper Silesia
 4.1 Rada Górnośląska
  4.1.1 Fundacja “Silesia”
  4.1.2 Pro Loquela Silesiana
  4.1.3 Ruch Autonomii Śląska
  4.1.4 Stowarzyszenie Osób Narodowości Śląskiej
  4.1.5 Ślōnskŏ Ferajna
  4.1.6 Związek Górnośląski
  4.1.7 Niemiecka Wspólnota “Pojednanie i Przyszłość”

 4.2 Organisations from Outside the Upper Silesian Council
  4.2.1 Demokratyczna Unia Regionalistów Śląskich
  4.2.2 Nasz Wspólny Śląski Dom
  4.2.3 Towarzystwo Społeczno-Kulturalne Niemców Województwa Śląskiego
  4.2.4 Związek Ludności Narodowości Śląskiej
 4.3 Śląska Partia Regionalna
 4.4 Ślonzoki Razem
 4.5 Electoral Committees
  4.5.1 Autonomia dla Ziemi Śląskiej
  4.5.2 Mniejszość na Śląsku
  4.5.3 Zjednoczeni dla Śląska
  4.5.4 Ślonzoki Razem
 4.6 Electoral Results in the Region
 4.7 Electoral Campaigns in the Region
 4.8 Initiatives
  4.8.1 Autonomy March
  4.8.2 The Day of Commemoration of the Upper Silesian Tragedy
  4.8.3 National Census 2011 – Campaign
  4.8.4 Regional Education and Teaching Silesian Language
  4.8.5 Recognition of Silesians as a Minority and Silesian as a Regional Language
 4.9 Protests
  4.9.1 Protest Against Further Centralisation of Public Television
  4.9.2 Protest Against Rejection of the Citizens’ Legislative Initiative
  4.9.3 Protest Against Naming the Square in Katowice after Maria and Lech Kaczyński
  4.10 Political Organisations in Upper Silesia – Conclusions

5 Programmes and Postulates of Upper Silesian Organisations
 5.1 Introduction
 5.2 Ethnicity
  5.2.1 Auto-identification
  5.2.2 Silesianism
  5.2.3 Heritage
  5.2.4 Collective Memory
  5.2.5 Categorisation
 5.3 Political Programmes and Postulates
  5.3.1 Recognition of the Ethnic Group
  5.3.2 Regional Education
  5.3.3 Teaching and Promotion of the Silesian Language
  5.3.4 Decentralisation and Autonomy
  5.3.5 Functions and the Role of the Organisation
  5.3.6 Plans for the Future
 5.4 Programmes and Postulates of Upper Silesian Organisations – Conclusions

6 Political Behaviours and Political Potential
 6.1 Introduction
 6.2 General Information about the Respondents
 6.3 Ethnicity – Elements of Silesian Identity
  6.3.1 Auto-identification
  6.3.2 Territorial and Familial Ties
  6.3.3 Categorisation and the Role of the Region
  6.3.4 Stereotypes and Migration
  6.3.5 Diversity and Separateness
  6.3.6 Language and Traditions
 6.4 Political Postulates – Popularity
  6.4.1 Recognition and Education
  6.4.2 Legal Status and Borders of the Śląskie Voivodeship
  6.4.3 Priorities for Newly Registered Silesian Parties
 6.5 Political Behaviours – Popularity of Studied Organisations
  6.5.1 Voting Behaviours
  6.5.2 Participation in Electoral Campaigns, Membership and Participation in Events
  6.5.3 Political Behaviours Index
 6.6 Relation Between Silesian Identity and Political Behaviours
 6.7 Political Behaviours and Political Potential – Conclusions

Concluding Remarks

Annex 1

All interested in Upper Silesia, minority rights and regionalism in Central Europe, and relations between ethnic identity and political behaviours.
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