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Article


Title

The Social Paradox of Citizen Denunciation: Informing Practices in Modern Poland

Authors

[ 1 ] Uniwersytet Warszawski | [ 2 ] Instytut Teorii Bezpieczeństwa, Wydział Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego, Akademia Sztuki Wojennej | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[5.8] Sociology

Year of publication

2021

Published in

East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures

Journal year: 2021 | Journal number: -

Article type

scientific article

Publication language

english

Keywords
PL
  • Badania naukowe
  • Donos
  • Komunizm
  • Polska
  • Służba Bezpieczeństwa (SB Polska)
  • Społeczeństwo obywatelskie
  • Transformacja ustrojowa
Abstract

EN Within sociological literature, including that which analyses systemic changes in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, denunciation is one of the least studied issues, both empirically and theoretically. In Poland after the political transformation, as well as in other post-communist countries, the problem of dealing with security service and secret police informers and collaborators has not gone away. News media report a rapidly growing number of denunciations directed to various institutions and administrative offices, and legal regulations regarding denunciations have also appeared. In public discourse, denunciation and whistleblowing are increasingly often equated. Encouragement to inform about aberrations, confronted with the consequences that whistleblowers face, shows the legal and social vacuum around the institution of whistleblowing in Poland. This article, in response to questions about the modern social image of denunciation, is based on analysis of in-depth individual interviews conducted during 2015-2017 with children, adults, and administrative officials in three Polish cities. The results show that both children and adults treat denunciation as a form of harming others, though they do differentiate their moral judgments depending on the delator's intention, but they rarely attribute any motive other than personal gain to whistleblowers' actions. Finally, the existing administrative acquiescence and institutional support for denunciation are sometimes interpreted in terms of the weakness of democracy, immaturity of civic society, and the legacy of a totalitarian state.

Date of online publication

25.03.2021

DOI

10.1177/0888325420977640

URL

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0888325420977640

Comments

Artykuł będący na zasadach Early Access. First Published March 25, 2021

Points of MNiSW / journal

100.0

Points of MNiSW / journal in years 2017-2021

100.0

Publication indexed in

WoS