Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Migrants’ Political Participation and Representation in Poland: What Do Political Parties Have to Offer?

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Abstract:  Since 2018, Poland has been a net migration country, yet public debates on migrants and migration remain scarce and have been defined by a reactionary nature. This article, adopting a political opportunity structure perspective, focuses on political parties as the main actors shaping opportunities and constraints for migrant political participation and representation in Polish society. Based on a qualitative content analysis of party manifestos and parliamentary debates, and using the deductive thematic analysis framework, this study analysed three types of arguments parties have adopted regarding the admission of migrants. The findings revealed that Polish political parties, failing to see non-voting migrants as promising electoral targets, have weaponised the migrant issue and used it as an element of the partisan battle to attack opponents, especially during the election campaign period, instead of stimulating migrants’ political participation and offering them channels for representation.

Keywords:  migrant participation and representation; opportunity structure; Poland; political parties



© Anna Pacześniak, Maria Wincławska. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.