American Polonia’s Resources of Influence and US Foreign Policy

Ivan D. Loshkariov – Post-Graduate student at the World Political Processes Department. 76 Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russia. E-mail: kixlo@rambler.ru.
 
Archive: 
Вся статья: 

The article analyzes resources of political influence on the foreign policy of the country of residence that Polish diaspora in the United States possesses. This analysis is useful for two reasons. Firstly, it will expand the focus of research in the study of pressure groups and their influence on the American foreign policy. Secondly, the Polish diaspora in the United States is rarely the object of research in migrant and ethnic lobbying, despite its the significant share of the country’s population.

Analysis of the given resources that the Polish diaspora (American Polonia) has leads to the following. Firstly, the foreign policy agenda of the Polish diaspora in the United States faces no strong opponents. This fact means the diaspora has sufficiently developed structural resource. In addition, the Polish diaspora possesses an organizational resource: its institutions are in close cooperation and are coordinated by the Polish American Congress. Secondly, the Polish diaspora in the US is a significant group of the population, especially in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut, New York and Illinois. However, its electoral and financial capacities are not used to the fullest extent.
Finally, there are certain difficulties with the discursive political resource of Polish diaspora. The social and political perception provides of Polonia in the USA two opposing narratives. The first one stresses that it is important for the Americans of Polish descent to share such values as democracy, defending his position, including by military means. The second narrative is a reproduction of widespread stereotypes about Poles, including in the popular culture. Thus, institutions of the American Polonia face several tasks. The most important tasks are the search for new ways of political mobilization of the diaspora and the formation of a balanced image of Polish Americans in the social and political perception in the United States.

Key words: Polish diaspora, resources of influence, ethnic lobby, Polonia, foreign policy.

References
1. Lebedeva M.M. Resursy vliianiia v mirovoi politike [Resources of influence in world politics]. Polis. Politicheskie issledovaniia. 2014, no. 1, pp. 99–108. (In Russian).
2. Lozanskii E.D. Etnosy i lobbizm v SShA. O perspektivakh rossiiskogo lobbi v Amerike [Ethnicity and lobbying in the USA. Prospects for the Russian lobby]. Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 2004. 272 p. (In Russian).
3. Binkowski D. The Untold Story of Senator Wilkowski. Polish American Studies. 1995, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 71-88.
4. Brubaker R. The ‘Diaspora’Diaspora. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 2005, no. 28 (1), рр. 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/0141987042000289997
5. Bukowczyk J.J. Making Polonia – From Many Ones? Or Many? Or None? Problematizing Polish-American Identity. The Polish Review. 2011, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 187-206
6. Bukowczyk J.J. The Big Lebowski Goes To the Polish Wedding: Polish Americans – Hollywood Style. The Polish Review. 2002, vol. 47, no 2, pp. 211-230.
7. DeWind J., Segura R. Diaspora-Government Relations in Forging US Foreign Policies. In: Diaspora Lobbies and the US Government: Convergence and Divergence in Making Foreign Policy. Ed. by J. DeWind, R. Segura. New York &London: New York University Press, 2014. Pp. 3-28
8. Goldgeier J.M. Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1999. 223 p.
9. Huntington S.P. The Erosion of American National Interests. Foreign Affairs. 1997, №76, pp. 28–49.
10. Kirk J.A. Indian-Americans and the U.S.–India Nuclear Agreement: Consolidation of an Ethnic Lobby? Foreign Policy Analysis. 2008, vol. 4, no. 3, рр. 275–300. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-8594.2008.00070.x
11. Kostyaev S.S. Russian Lobbying In the United States: Stages of Evolution. Journal of Public Affairs. 2012, vol. 12, no. 4, рр. 279–292. DOI: 10.1002/pa.1423.
12. McCormick J.M. Ethnic Interest Group in American Foreign Policy. In: The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy: Insights and Evidence. Ed. by J.M. McCormick. 6th ed. New York: Rowman&Littlefield Publishers, INC, 2012. Pp. 67-87
13. Mearsheimer J.J., Walt S.M. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 484 p.
14. Newhouse J. Diplomacy, Inc.: The Influence of Lobbies on U.S. Foreign Policy. Foreign Affairs. 2009, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 73-92.
15. Perez A.D., Hirschman С. The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the US Population: Emerging American Identities. Population and Development Review. 2009, vol. 35, no.1, pр. 1–51. DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2009.00260.x
16. Pienkos D.E. Polish Americans in Congressional Politics: Assets and Constraints. The Polish Review. 2003, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 185-194.
17. Pula J.S. Polish Americans: An Ethnic Community. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995. 181 p.
18. Rokicki J. National Symbols Restructured: The Polish Ethnic Group in the United States of America. Polish American Studies. 1990, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 87-99.
19. Rubenzer T., Redd S.B. Ethnic Minority Groups and US Foreign Policy: Examining Congressional Decision Making and Economic Sanctions. International Studies Quarterly. 2010, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 755-777.

DOI 10.24833/2071-8160-2017-3-54-238-248 (Read the article in PDF)