Jaro Stacul

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Memorial U.

Grant number

Gr. 9977

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Stacul, Jaro (Memorial U.) "A Populist Solidarity? An Examination of Right-Wing Populism in Contemporary Poland"

JARO STACUL, Memorial University, St. Johns, Newfoundland, received funding in August 2020 to aid research on “A Populist Solidarity? An Examination of Right-Wing Populism in Contemporary Poland.” What unites most of the populist movements that came to the fore in Europe and the Americas in the last few years is the fact that they claim to speak in the name of “the people” and against the elites or ethnic others. Yet understanding how a populist regime makes its ideologies appealing at moral, emotional, and embodied levels involves understanding the key concepts on which the idea of “the people” is built. As Russia wages full-scale war on Ukraine, and Poland witnesses the inflow of Ukrainian refugees, solidarity emerges as a key concept and a source of moral obligation to help Ukrainians. The grantee has conducted fieldwork in the city of Gdańsk, in northern Poland, to find out how a concept derived from liberal values, like solidarity itself, can become well adapted to the demands of right-wing populism. The grantee has conducted research in organizations that are the “producers” of the concept of solidarity and among volunteers who have helped Ukrainian refugees. Solidarity is not at odds with right-wing populism: if anything, it may be a constituent part of it, especially when it is understood by reference to cultural idioms and values that are deeply ingrained in collective consciousness.